The number of Americans carrying concealed firearms has exploded in recent years, and contrary to the narratives and fearmongering peddled by anti-gun-rights activists, the sky did not fall. In fact, according to the most recent data, not only did the sky not fall, murder rates and violent crime over the same period have plunged dramatically — demolishing the claims of gun-control proponents, while bolstering the pragmatic case for even broader proliferation of public firearms ownership.

Of course, as The New American has reported for years, experts who study the issue have long known that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is correlated with less violent crime and murder. A report released last week by the Crime Prevention Research Center confirms that fact yet again, and makes it abundantly clear: In the United States, as more and more people were legally carrying weapons in public, fewer people were being murdered and violently victimized by criminals.

According to the study, the number of concealed handgun permits skyrocketed from about 4.5 million in 2007 to almost 13 million in 2014 — and that does not include millions of people carrying concealed firearms in the growing number of states where no permit is required. During that same time period, U.S. murder rates plunged some 25 percent, from 5.6 killings per 100,000 to a mere 4.2, even further below the global average of about 7 (and America has far more guns in private hands than any other nation). Overall violent crime also plunged by about 25 percent during the period.

Put another way, as the number of permits issued for concealed-carry surged by more than 150 percent, murder and violent crime declined by one-fourth. And as one might expect, the states with the largest increase in the number of people carrying concealed weapons also enjoyed the steepest relative drop in murder rates and violent crime, the non-partisan Crime Prevention Research Center report showed.

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