Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe raised the ire of conservatives on Monday by proposing a package of gun control measures for the upcoming General Assembly.

What irritated them most was that the governor claimed that these measures are designed to “keep people safe” from criminals. McAuliffe might better spend his time perusing the latest update from John Lott, showing that people are keeping themselves safe from criminals by obtaining their concealed carry permits.

Lott, the author of More Guns, Less Crime noted in a July 9 report for Crime Prevention Research Center that the number of citizens now permitted to carry concealed exceeds 11 million, up from eight million just three years ago. And even that number may be far too conservative:

The number of concealed carry permit holders is likely much higher than 11.1 million because numbers are not available for all states that issue permits, such as New York. Additionally, four states and the majority of Montana do not require that residents have a concealed handgun permit to carry within the state so [that] number … is not recorded.

That translates into nearly one in every twenty Americans licensed to carry. It also translates, according to Lott, into a continuing fall in the rates of murder and violent crime: a 22 percent decline just since 2007, a period of time, according to Lott, that the percentage of people licensed to carry has increased by an astonishing 130 percent.

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