Permits to carry concealed firearms in public (CCW permits) remain controversial. A small scale natural experiment with shall-issue CCW permit policy in California, a may-issue state, is reported. During the mid-1990s, the chief of police of the Sacramento County town of Isleton issued permits to all county residents who applied and passed a standard background check. This program received national publicity. The incidence of subsequent criminal activity among 691 persons applying for CCW permits through Isleton's program in 1995 and that in a statewide sample of 965 CCW applicants from 1993-94 were compared. Subjects were followed up for three years from their application dates. The arrest rates for violent crime among Isleton and statewide applicants were 291 and 104 per 100 000 person-years, respectively (relative risk 2.8, 95% confidence interval 0.7 to 11.2, p = 0.18). This suggests that a shallissue policy for CCW permits may result in higher rates of violent crime among permit holders, but the results do not reach statistical significance; larger studies are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health