skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 202010 Find in a Library
Title: Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns and Violent Crime: Crime Control Through Gun Decontrol?
Journal: Criminology & Public Policy  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:363-396
Author(s): Tomislav V. Kovandzic; Thomas B. Marvell
Editor(s): Todd R. Clear
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 34
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the impact of Florida’s 1987 Right-To-Carry (RTC) law for 58 counties from 1980 to 2000 and the impact of gun permit rate growth on crime rates for the same counties.
Abstract: In the past two decades, many states have enacted a radically new policy to address violence problems by making it easier for citizens to carry concealed handguns in public, commonly referred to as “shall-issue” or “right-to-carry” (RTC) concealed firearms laws. Those requesting a permit to carry a concealed weapon must satisfy certain objective criteria. By the end of 2001 more than half the States had adopted RTC laws. One of the first States to institute a RTC law was Florida in 1987. This study evaluated Florida’s RTC law which is said to play a key role in the RTC debate. Panel data for 58 Florida counties from 1980 to 2000 were used to examine the effects on violent crime from increases in the number of people with concealed-carry permits. Study results found no credible statistical evidence that permit rate growth leads to substantial reductions in violent crime, most notably homicide. This is likely due to one of three reasons: (1) few people wanted to obtain concealed-handgun permits; (2) the law might have had little impact on rates of gun carrying among perspective victims; and (3) non-criminal gun carrying actually did increase, but the crime-increasing effects of a few violent people getting permits balanced out the crime-decreasing effects of many nonviolent people getting permits. Policy implications are discussed and are dependent somewhat on how much weight one attaches to robbery and auto theft results. The present study offers little support for the view that RTC laws have any net negative effect on the rate of any major category of violence. References
Main Term(s): Weapon carrying
Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures; Firearms; Florida; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; Handguns; Law reform; Legislative impact; State laws; Weapons
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.