Alabama Today has a detailed discussion on concealed handgun permits in the state, noting that there are now about 470,000 permit holders in Alabama. The news article relies heavily on our July report on concealed handgun permits around the country.
Unfortunately, there were some weaknesses in the piece.
— The six states that allow people to carry without a permit very likely have even higher rates of legal concealed carry than Alabama ( no permits are required in Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Montana (99.4% of the state), Wyoming, and Vermont).
— The article did not provide a very balanced discussion and failed to note what most of the literature had found on crime rates.
— It also uncritically reports the claim that John Lott’s concealed carry research never accounted for the impact of crack cocaine on crime rates (for discussions in the 3rd edition of More Guns, Less Crime that accounted for the impact of cocaine see here and here, and among other discussions this point was dealt with in the original research by John Lott and David Mustard as well as the first edition of More Guns, Less Crime).