Chicago Murders Hit 56-Year Low After State Enacts Concealed Carry Law

Matt Vespa
By Matt Vespa | April 4, 2014 | 4:35 PM EDT

Well, look what we have here in the land of Lincoln.  Chicago, a city that's been drowning in its own blood in homicides, has seen its murder count drop to its lowest levels since 1958.  What caused this phenomenon? What possibly could have led to this surprising social trend in the Windy City?

Oh wait: in January, Illinois joined the nation's other 49 other states in allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.

Here are the facts (via ABC News):

Chicago's first-quarter murder total this year hit its lowest number since 1958, police say.

The first three months of the year saw 6 fewer murders than the same time frame in 2013--a 9 percent drop--and 55 fewer murders than 2012, according to a statement from Chicago Police.

There were 90 fewer shootings and 119 fewer shooting victims, drops of 26 and 29 percent respectively, according to police statistics. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, there have been 222 fewer shootings and 292 fewer shooting victims.

Overall crime is down 25 percent from last year, and police said more than 1,300 illegal guns were recovered in the last three months.

Now, the pro-gun control side likes to say that there's no conclusive studies showing a correlation between concealed carry laws being enacted with decreases in violent crime.

Well, that's not true anymore.  The academic journal, Applied Economic Letters, published a study by Mark Gius in January saying:

Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level.

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