Crime has increased by 24 percent statewide since concealed carry was passed
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released crime numbers for 2016 this month, and with those numbers we now have five full years of crime stats since concealed carry became law. The results aren’t good.
Concealed carry was described as a way for citizens to defend themselves, but it was also sold to voters and lawmakers on the basis that it would deter crime across the state. The idea was simple enough: if criminals didn’t know who was packing, they’d be hesitant to commit a crime against a victim who might have a gun.
Of course, just the opposite could have been true: criminals could have become even more aggressive if they didn’t know who was carrying a weapon. That side of the debate was conveniently ignored by conservatives, however. The bill passed, and Wisconsin became the 49th state to enact concealed carry, requiring a (lax) training process and a permit to do so in allowable places.
Since then a slew of legislation has been proposed by extremists that would extend where those allowable places would be — including school hallways, college campuses and more. There’s even been talk about ending the permit process altogether, simply allowing anyone able to purchase a gun to carry one wherever they want without concealed carry training.
The five years of data, however, seems to contradict the idea that concealed carry should be expanded. The statistics released this month (and in past years) demonstrate that violent crime has gone up since 2011 by more than 24 percent — and the murder rate has similarly gone up by 67 percent.
And it’s not just in Milwaukee, as some conservatives will likely point out. While murder did climb in the state’s largest city from 2011 to 2016, it climbed at a faster rate throughout the state: the non-Milwaukee murder rate increased by 74 percent throughout the rest of Wisconsin.
After signing the bill into law, Gov. Scott Walker promised that concealed carry would make the state safer. In 2015, Attorney General Brad Schimel also wrongly claimed that concealed carry made Wisconsin a safer place for families across the state.
The numbers don’t lie — since passage of concealed carry, crime has gone up, not down.
The idea of deterrence is provably wrong. Yet lawmakers plan to pass future bills that site deterrence through concealed carry as a means to prevent crime. That would be like trying to use water to stop a flood — it just won’t work. And we shouldn’t expect otherwise.