By: Ashleigh Meyer
On November 1, Oklahoma will join the growing list of states that allow Constitutional Carry, or the carrying of a gun without a license or permit.
KGOU reports Oklahoma has seen an increased number of weapons confiscated from those who possess them illegally, such as felons, and it has some worried that the new legislation will only increase the number of illegal firearms on the streets.
According to KGOU:
Police say they are watching to see if the new permitless-carry law will result in higher gun seizures.
“We are not specifically targeting guns by any means,” said Oklahoma City Police Department spokesman Capt. Larry Withrow. “But logic tells you that as more guns are sold, law enforcement will take more guns off the street as a byproduct of other crime enforcement work, especially when we are working high crime areas.”
Let’s clarify something. Constitutional Carry means you don’t have to get the government’s permission to carry a gun, however, you still must go through the legal process to purchase said firearm. Just because people no longer have to jump through extra hoops to exercise their Second Amendment rights, doesn’t mean “more guys are sold.” What’s more, as Oklahoma proves, felons who are barred from possessing guns have already been acquiring them. And something tells me these criminals weren’t applying for a concealed carry permit so they could carry their illegal weapons legally.
Even if the new Constitutional Carry law saw a spike in gun sales, there is no evidence to suggest that more guns equals more crime. In fact, US News and World Report recently compiled crime data from the FBI and determined that the safest states in the U.S. are Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. All these states honor Constitutional Carry. While Oklahoma is given an “F” for its gun laws by Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, it is ranked #12 on USA Today’s Most Dangerous States list. Maryland, who received an “A-” from Giffords, is the #11th most dangerous state.
When comparing individual states before and after the legalization of concealed carry, studies continue to show a reduction in crime. The facts remain: violent crime has drastically reduced since the 90s, mass shooters are a small and predictable group of people, the number of guns in a given state almost never has an impact on the likelihood that a citizen will be the victim of gun crime, and legal gun owners tend to be a very law-abiding group of people.
Ashleigh Meyer is a professional writer and Conservative political analyst from Virginia.