The Washington Times had a big headline Sunday that’s grabbed the attention of some in the gun rights world – as well as those who aren’t so fond of gun ownership rights.

Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge

By Kelly Riddell – The Washington Times – Sunday, August 24, 2014

An 86-year-old Illinois man with a concealed carry permit fired his weapon at an armed robbery suspect fleeing police last month, stopping the man in his tracks and allowing the police to make an arrest.

Law enforcement authorities described the man as “a model citizen” who “helped others avoid being victims” at an AT&T store outside Chicago where he witnessed the holdup. The man, whose identity was withheld from the press, prevented others from entering the store during the theft.

Police said the robber harassed customers and pistol-whipped one.

Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.

We’ve seen a host of gun blogs latching onto that and trying to make something of it.

We say:  “Not so fast!”

First off, the first Illinois concealed carry licenses were mailed out in March and plenty more didn’t get theirs until months after that.  Cook County, as of sometime in July, had issued about 17,500 licenses for the 5.24 million people living there (not counting illegal aliens).  That works out to .33% of the population.

If you round that off to the nearest whole number that’s zero percent of the population has permits.

Furthermore, Chicago police have been called out on their “massaging” of the crime numbers and statistics to create the appearance of falling crime rates, when in reality, crime is steady to rising.  Read the excellent stores in Chicago Magazine The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates and The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates: Part 2.

In short, you can’t trust Chicago’s crime data in recent years.

This is why we weren’t splashing this story about – simply because we didn’t think a tiny segment of Chicago’s population having a carry license for a month or three has reduced the number of robberies that have led to arrests by 20% and burglaries and motor vehicle theft by 26%.  There’s no way.

Sure, some of these CCW holders have used their firearms to thwart crimes.  Some you might have even read about in the media.

But reducing robberies by 20%?  Nope.

As much as we’d like to claim credit, we don’t feel it’s merited.

A far more likely scenario is that Chicago Police Department’s internal stats unit is fudging the numbers.


4 thoughts on “SLOW DOWN: Dramatic decreases in Chicago crime thanks to CCW? Whoa. Not so fast.”
  1. I respectfully disagree. And the reason is WHY we pushed for concealed carry.

    The reason crime has dropped IS INDEED due to the issuance of CCP’s.

    The DATA backing this up do not exist. It’s purely anecdotal; but admit it, most of your life you live acting and reacting to anecdotal data and gossip, and usually it’s true. Occam’s Razor.

    The POINT of it is, the criminals NO LONGER KNOW who may have a gun and who may not have a gun, and it’s deterring them.

    Plain fact. Plain and simple fact.

    And that, sirs, is why I thank each and every one of you for your tireless work in the process. And I’m sorry I never got to meet Otis McDonald and haven’t yet met Mary SHepherd to thank them personally.


  2. Ken,

    I’m going to have to go with John on this and I’ll tell you why: Not once did John Lott find decreases in robberies this sharp, or this sudden following a CCW law’s implementation anywhere else in America.

    Furthermore, Lott found consistent increases in burglaries and thefts in states that got CCW as criminals shifted away from people crimes to property crimes to avoid the possibility of a victim being armed. Not a 25% decline show in Chicago.

    John failed to mention, and I see it as even more relevant, that these changes could only be described as beginning in March, not Jan. 1.

    There’s no way these drops are 100% attributable to CCW licenses.

    Some of it? Sure.

    All of it? You’re dreaming.


  3. a few months is not long enough to see if this is a real trend, or if it’s just an anomaly (maybe there aren’t as many active gang wars as usual this year for some reason, etc..)

    Let’s see what the numbers look like in another year or two when there are a lot more CCW permits out there and a few more bad guys have been perforated or held for police at gunpoint.

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