Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Fact-checking the NRA on 'Right to Carry'

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association spoke at CPAC on "right to carry" laws.
Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association spoke at CPAC on "right to carry" laws.

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association delivered a stirring defense of gun ownership at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the wake of the mass shooting in Arizona.

"Right now, in the United States, 7 million law-abiding Americans legally carry a concealed firearm, 7 million in almost every state in the country," he said. "And across the board, violent crime in jurisdictions that recognize the Right to Carry is lower than in areas that prevent it. The whole flock is safer when the wolves can't tell the difference between the lions and the lambs."

It's a matter of opinion whether a national "right to carry" law is a good idea, but we were interested in his statement that "violent crime in jurisdictions that recognize the Right to Carry is lower than in areas that prevent it." So we decided to check it out.

We looked at the most recent statistics on violent crime and found that was not the case. Additionally, academic researchers disagree about whether deeper statistical analysis reveals any patterns, and the National Academies of Science concluded that with current evidence it's not possible to find a causal link between right-to-carry laws and crime rates. We rated his statement False.