SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ProCon.org, a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity dedicated to promoting critical thinking, created the new website http://concealedguns.procon.org to explore the core question "Should adults have the right to carry a concealed handgun?"
Carrying a concealed handgun in public is permitted by non-law enforcement officials in 48 states as of Mar. 12, 2010. Two states (Wisconsin and Illinois), and Washington, DC do not allow concealed carry except by active and retired law enforcement officers, although Wisconsin permits openly carrying firearms in public.
In 1986, 35 states had provisions for concealed carry and eight of these states had "shall-issue" laws. On May 12, 1987, Florida, a "may-issue" state, passed a "shall-issue" law that stripped law enforcement of discretion in issuing permits. Following a campaign by the National Rifle Association (NRA), 28 states followed Florida's lead and adopted "shall-issue" laws between 1987 and 2009. As of Mar. 18, 2010, 35 states have passed "shall-issue" laws.
Between May 2007 and Mar. 24, 2010, at least nine law enforcement officers and 142 private citizens were killed nationally by concealed handgun permit holders (approximately 0.003% of all murders in that time period) according to the Violence Policy Center.
Supporters of concealed carry argue that criminals are less likely to attack someone they believe to be armed. Concealed carry advocates also cite the Second Amendment's "right of the people to keep and bear arms," and they contend that most adults that legally carry a concealed handgun are law-abiding citizens that do not misuse their firearms.
Critics of concealed carry argue that increased gun ownership leads to more gun crime and that concealed handguns increase the chances of arguments becoming lethal. Concealed carry opponents also contend that carrying firearms increases the number of unintended gun injuries.
This latest ProCon.org website explores many pro and con arguments about the concealed carry debate and includes sources, images, videos, reader comments, and a section of little known facts called "Did You Know?" The findings should help readers think critically, educate themselves, and make informed decisions about carrying concealed handguns.
Learn more about the pros and cons of concealed handguns at http://concealedguns.procon.org.
Did You Know?
The National Rifle Association (NRA) gave presidential candidate Barack Obama an "F" rating based on his voting record on guns. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence also gave President Obama an "F," in part because he signed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 which included an amendment to allow the carrying of firearms in national parks.
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Contact: Kamy Akhavan, Managing Editor