Comparing conviction rates between police and concealed carry permit holders

19 Feb , 2015  

A recent study provides numbers on police convictions over a three year period from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007.  While their numbers underestimate the number of crimes for which police are convicted given that they depend upon media coverage of those cases, their raw data serves as a useful starting point for analyzing the behavior of permit holders.  First let’s convert their number into a crime rate by police.  Note that there  were 683,396 full-time law enforcement employees in 2006.  With about 703 police crimes per year, there was a rate of 102 per hundred thousand full-time law enforcement employees (see page 421 in “Exit Strategy: An Exploration of Late-Stage Police Crime” by Stinson, Liederbach and Freiburger).  


For a comparison with concealed handgun permit holders, the rate of police facing weapons violations is of particular interest.  0.02% = 118/683,396


Compare that to firearms violations of concealed handgun permit holders in Florida.  Between October 1, 1987 and January 31, 2011, there were 168 revocations for firearms related violations in Florida (after January 31, 2011 Florida stopped breaking out the firearms related violations by themselves).  Over that period of time permits were issued to over 2 million permit holders.  168/2 million = 0.008%.  Texas and Michigan show very similar rates of revocations of thousandths of a percentage point for firearms related violations.


But that isn’t really a fair comparison for permit holders because the violation rate for officers is an annual rate and the rate for permit holders is over the entire period of time.  In a 2011 Fox News piece, John Lott provided this calculation:


Over the last 38 months, only four permit holders have had their permit revoked for a firearms related violation — an annual revocation rate of 0.0003%. . . .


So putting the police numbers at an annual rate gives you a rate of 0.01%.  Both 0.01% or 0.0003% are both extremely low and the violations might not be comparable in that the private individuals might run into problems that a police officer (even one off duty might not run into), but the rate for police is still 23 times higher.


The rate of forceable rape and sodomy is 10.33 per 100,000 per year.  By contrast, the forcible rape rate for the general population was 30.9 in 2006.


The aggravated assault rate for officers was 11.49 per 100,000 per year.  By contrast, the rate for the general population was 287.5 in 2006.


Also of interest was this statement in the paper.


 The conviction rate among officers who were arrested with 18 or more years of service was 89.1%, whereas the conviction rate for officers who were arrested with 17 years or less of service was 77.5%.  . . .


As expected, the rate of crime for younger officers is a lot higher than for older ones.

The dissertation is available here.

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11 Responses

  1. Pat Friedrich says:

    The Department of Public Safety (DPS) tracks convictions in Texas. Based upon the latest data available, in 2012 Texas CHL holders were convicted of 120 offenses (,
    As of January 1, 2012, there were 584,850 Texas CHL holders. That yields a conviction rate of 21 per 100,000 CHL holders. As of January 1, 2013, there 708,048 Texas CHL holders. That yield a conviction rate of 17 per 100,000 CHL holders. I suggest that the conviction rate for calendar year 2012 is somewhere in the middle. Law enforcement convictions are not tracked by TXDPS.

    • NotCop Block says:

      That’s CHL convictions for ALL offenses; the 10 and 11 per 100,000 rates for the police were solely for forcible rape/sodomy and aggravated assault INDIVIDUALLY.

      There may be some overlap but you can add them together with all of the other crimes of which the police may be convicted.

      Not to mention (but I will) the fact that it’s REALLY HARD to get a cop charged with anything that doesn’t make headlines, thin blue line and all.

      • Matt says:

        You use that term, thin blue line. I don’t that means what you think it means…

      • Matt says:

        Oh and as to your argument, you’re arguing a point he didn’t make. “Law enforcement convictions are not tracked by TXDPS.” He merely made a statement about Texas concealed carriers. He made no comparison to law enforcement and admitted there were no directly comparable police numbers for Texas.

      • Matt says:

        It also just occurred to me, the point you tried to make about it being hard to get cops charged, really only supports the argument we’re making and that they make in this article. You imply that if it were easier, more cops would be charged with those crimes. So the cop number would go up and the concealed carrier number would stay the same and instead of being six times less likely than cops to be convicted of a firearm related crime, there would be even more of a disparity between the two rates.

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