The Land of Lincoln was the last state to recognize concealed carry rights in July of 2013 after the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s law banning the carrying of firearms in public was unconstitutional in December of 2012. In January of 2014, the law allowing for concealed carry went into effect, and Chicago saw the lowest murder rate since 1958. Sadly,
Chiraq Chicago is undergoing another bloody era. It recently had another bloody Fourth of July holiday weekend that left nine dead and 53 wounded. In 2014, the city’s Independence Day weekend saw 82 people shot, with at least 15 killed. So, no one should really be surprised that everyone in the city is applying for concealed carry permits, especially in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Additionally, there are a sizable number of women in Illinois with their concealed carry permits (via Chicago Sun-Times) [emphasis mine]:
A Chicago Sun-Times analysis of concealed-carry permits issued since 2013 shows the 60643 ZIP code where McDonald lived is ranked 23rd out of more than 1,300 ZIP codes across the state.
Ten of the top 50 ZIP codes in the state were in Chicago.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Sun-Times obtained an Illinois State Police database of the 119,337 concealed-carry permits issued between Dec. 18, 2013, and June 6, 2015. The names of the people who received the permits and their addresses were removed because of privacy restrictions.
About 12 percent of the permits in Chicago were granted to women; the rest are men. Statewide, about 14 percent are women.
The top five ZIP codes for concealed-carry permits in Chicago include upper middle-class, safe and predominately white neighborhoods on the Southwest and Northwest Sides — but they also include high-crime, minority neighborhoods on the South and Southeast Sides, the Sun-Times analysis showed.
Chicago’s highest concentration of permits is in the 60617 ZIP code — in the East Side neighborhood on the city’s Southeast Side — with 538 permits. According to the census, about 55 percent of the residents in 60617 are black, 34 percent are Hispanic and 7 percent white.
The sizable number of women who have their concealed carry is also another positive aspect of this analysis, and represents a shift in gun politics. Whereas the battle lines on gun control was usually drawn between men and women, Democrat and Republican, women have been lining up across the country for their carry permits. Female participation in shooting sports and ownership has the gun manufacturers seeing them–and rightfully so–as the next frontier in the industry. Now, men still represent the vast majority of gun owners, but more and more women are exercising their Second Amendment rights, enjoying it, and seeing its value–even in deep blue states like Illinois. This represents another hurdle for the gun control crowd. Fifty-one percent of white, middle class women think that a gun in the home makes them safer; overall, 68 percent agree that guns in a neighborhood makes them more secure. As many observers of politics have said in the past, it’s never a smart move politically to go against anything that white, middle class women like.
Regarding homicides, in 2012, the Windy City witnesses an all-time record of 504 murders. According to the Washington Post, that dropped to 392 within two years, with a crime rate the lowest since 1972. Right now, Chicago is seeing an uptick in shootings and homicides.
So, does more concealed carry permits equal less crime? There are studies that point to this result, but Illinois is still new to this right–with a legislature that’s still not gun friendly. Time will tell, but we shouldn’t be shocked in a five-to-ten year span if crime begins to dip once more people obtain their carry permits.