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Concealed Carry Law May Be Reducing Crime Rate

Posted on in chicago

Gun violence is a concern for virtually every city in America. Predictably, each time a high profile case of a crime committed with a firearm makes headlines, print, broadcast, and social media are almost instantly engulfed by advocates on both sides of the gun control debate. Reaction was similar in early 2014, when a new concealed carry law in Illinois allowed residents to apply for a concealed carry permit. Since the law took effect, the city of Chicago has seen crime rates drop significantly.

In order to obtain a concealed carry license, an Illinois resident must meet certain provisions regarding eligibility and training. The concealed carry law requires the state to grant a license within 90 days to any applicant who meets all of the requirements of the law. When the license is granted, it becomes legal for the licensee to carry a concealed loaded or unloaded handgun on their person or in a vehicle. Even with a license, though, it is not legal to concealed carry in specifically designated places including schools, government buildings, amusement parks, and airports.

By the end of July, the state had already received over 83,000 concealed carry license applications, and had granted almost 70,000 licenses. The Illinois State Rifle Association estimates 100,000 state residents will be legally permitted to carry a gun by the end of the year.

Over that same time period, mid-summer crime reports for the city of Chicago indicate at least a 20 percent drop in robberies, burglaries, and auto theft. First quarter reports of homicide were at their lowest point in over half a century. While the reduction in crime may be the result of the combination of multiple factors, the drop is certainly dramatic.

Improvements in police training and strategies within the Chicago Police Department may certainly account for some of the improvements. Proponents of the new law, however, point out that the law itself has been the most significant change. Harsher penalties and stricter laws may help deter crime, but according to John Lott Jr, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, “arming people with the right to defend themselves with a gun is also a deterrent.”

The biggest concern about the concealed carry law was that it would lead to an increase in gun violence. Currently, the statistics seem to show the opposite is occurring. There is no way to tell for sure if the crime rate will continue to drop but law-abiding citizens of Illinois certainly hope that it will.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a weapons-related offense, it is important to have representation. Contact an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney today and put our team to work for you.

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