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CPRC at the Daily Caller: Washington DC’s Three Days Of Gun Freedom

30 Jul , 2014  

The piece at the Daily Caller starts this way:

Washington, DC, was the last place in America that completely banned people carrying concealed handguns. Then it was temporarily one of the most liberal.

On Saturday, with a decision by Senior District Court Judge Fredrick Scullin Jr., DC joined six states that no longer require people to get a permit to concealed carry, so-called Constitutional-carry states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Wyoming, Vermont, and virtually all of Montana.

Over the next three days before the ruling was temporarily put on hold Tuesday, none of the predicted disasters occurred. If you believed gun-control advocates, Judge Scullin’s decision to let people carry concealed handguns in DC should have led to citizens shooting each other in the streets.

DC’s experiment let anyone who could legally posses a handgun carry it. While that might not mean much in Washington, DC, where only a few thousand people have obtained the expensive license and registration needed to own a handgun, there are lots of people who travel into DC from Virginia and Maryland who could take advantage of the change. Indeed, people anywhere in the country could have temporarily carried handguns into the District.

And non-DC residents didn’t even need to have a permit from another state to carry. Only about 14,298 Marylanders had concealed handgun permits as of April 2014, but anyone who legally owns a handgun in Maryland could lock their gun in the trunk of their car, drive across the border into DC, and then start carrying their gun. Virginia had 363,274 permit holders as of this past May, but all sorts of people who hadn’t even tried to get a permit there were able to carry in DC.

The fear about the implications here were misplaced. Indeed, the six Constitutional-carry states have lower murder and violent crime rates than the six states with the lowest permit rates. The murder rate is 23 percent lower in the states without permits. The violent-crime rate is 12 percent lower.

Despite their public statements, I strongly suspect that gun-control advocates wouldn’t take me up on a bet over whether murder rates would have risen in DC during this experiment.

But this experiment was bound to be very short-lived, as either Judge Scullin or the DC Appeals court could grant a “stay,” a ruling that will suspend Scullin’s decision until there is time for the appeals court to rule in the case. In addition, the plaintiff’s lawyer didn’t even object to the stay. Yet, a stay is only supposed to be granted when “irreparable harm” will result if the ruling goes into effect. . . .

The rest of the long piece is available here.

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