Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a piece of gun legislation that is at odds with the preferences of 83 percent of gun owners and 83 percent of Republicans.
The issue on which they voted — the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which passed the House by a vote of 231 to 198, is the National Rifle Association’s highest legislative priority and will next be considered by the Senate. But while House members who voted to support this bill may gratify the ever-powerful gun lobby, they actually voted against the interests and wants of the majority of Republicans and gun owners.
What’s especially troubling with the proposed legislation, though, is what it invites. Research shows that gun violence rates increase over time when laws regulating concealed gun carrying are substantially weakened. A study published earlier this year from Stanford economist John Donohue and colleagues found that violent crime rates increased with each additional year a right-to-carry law was in place, presumably as more people were carrying guns on their person and in their vehicles. By years seven through 10 following the adoption of a RTC law, violent crime rates were 11 percent to 14 percent higher than predicted had such laws not been in place. Weaker concealed carry laws were associated with a 10 percent higher murder rate 10 years following the adoption of RTC laws. A separate study by Boston University researchers also found that state laws greatly expanding legal gun carrying were linked to increased homicides with handguns.Read More