Newsweek discusses the evidence put forward for eliminating gun-free zones at schools.
. . . The “98 percent” statistic cited by Massie was pulled from a November 2018 Chicago Tribune op-ed by the conservative author of The War on Guns, John R. Lott Jr., who is also the head of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
The U.S. Supreme Court found the original Gun-Free School Zones Act unconstitutional in the 1995 case, United States v. Lopez. The legislation was amended and today makes it “unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.”
On Monday, Massie referenced a Crime Prevention Research Center report that listed several cases in which concealed handgun permit holders helped stop mass public shootings or other attacks. In dozens of cases, armed citizens were able to restrain the perpetrators or otherwise prevent loss of life. “The day of the Virginia Beach shooting one of the considered taking a gun to work over concerns about a colleague, but didn’t because of #gunfreezone,” read the tweet from organization president John R. Lott Jr. . . . .
The Newsweek article makes some errors. The article notes: “a Crime Prevention Research Center report that listed several cases in which concealed handgun permit holders allegedly stopped mass public shootings or other attacks.”
1) Mass public shooting cases that were stopped by concealed handgun permit holders. We have 21 cases since 2014, and, for most of these cases, we have statements from police, sheriffs or prosecutors saying that the permit holder likely saved many lives.2) We have hundreds of cases where concealed handgun permit holders have stopped criminals. These are usually cases where the police have made findings that the person used a gun in legitimate self-defense. We haven’t been putting a lot of time into this year, so we don’t have as many cases as we have had in past years, but we have a lot more than a few instances.3) There are also some cases where a concealed handgun permit holder has saved the lives of police officers.
Congressman Massie made extensive use of our research in his Bloomberg TV interview. Among the facts he used are these:
— 98% percent of mass public shootings occur in gun-free zones.
— 20 states allow teachers to carry guns at school
— The problems that people worry about with teachers carry guns aren’t occurring. Students aren’t taking teachers’ guns. Teachers aren’t shooting people. Police aren’t shooting teachers when they show up.
— Not a single mass public shooting this century that would have been stopped this century as a result of background checks on private transfers.