Study: Gun-Free Zones Actually Promote Gun Theft

   04.18.17

Study: Gun-Free Zones Actually Promote Gun Theft

A new study from researchers at Harvard and Northwestern confirms, albeit in an indirect and accidental way, what pro-gun folks have known for a long, long time: not only do “no carrying” signs and gun-free zones not keep anyone safe, but they actually make us all less safe by giving bad guys a more opportunities to steal guns due to concealed carriers being forced to leave their guns in vehicles.

Of course, the headline of the study, along with the lede in the Trace article that tipped me off to it, is spun so that it makes concealed carriers look irresponsible for leaving guns in their cars where criminals can steal them.

Most of our criminals, they go out each and every night hunting for guns, and the easiest way to get them is out of people’s cars,” said Sgt. Warren Pickard of the Atlanta Police Department. “We’re finding that a majority of stolen guns that are getting in the hands of criminals and being used to commit crimes were stolen out of vehicles.

Of course, concealed carriers absolutely do not want to leave their guns in their cars. The whole point of concealed carry is to have a firearm on your person. But leaving your gun in your car is your only legal option if you’re headed into a place that bans concealed carry, so law-abiding citizens leave them there, and criminals–the kinds of folks who ignore laws and signs–steal them.

The safest place for a firearm is either concealed on a person’s body or in a safe. Negligent discharges and theft happen only when guns are not in one of those two states. It’s especially dangerous to remove a gun from your person or put one on your person. This is when accidents happen. So the fact remains that by forcing concealed carriers to remove their guns from their person and leave them in their vehicles, gun-free zones make us all less safe.

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