Chicago’s crime rate dropped as concealed carry permits in the city have sky rocketed, The Washington Times reported. The number of robberies leading to arrests in Chicago declined 20 percent since last year’s police department statistics were released. Since July of 2013, residents with a clean background check and appropriate training all over Illinois could begin carrying concealed in the state.
Despite Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s prediction that making Concealed Carry legal in Chicago would adversely affect the Windy City, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics.
“When people say concealed carry, I say Trayvon Martin,” McCarthy said to host Cliff Kelley on Chicago’s WVON-AM radio, a reference to the unarmed 17-year-old who was fatally shot last year by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida.
McCarthy went on, “I say Trayvon Martin, because the answer to guns is not more guns, and just simply putting guns in people’s hands is going to lead to more tragedy.”
McCarthy suggested ways that he would prevent gun violence and keep felons and gang members from getting guns. These were, The Chicago Tribune noted:
…banning assault weapons; banning high-capacity magazines; requiring background checks for anyone who buys a gun; mandatory reporting of the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a gun; and mandatory minimum prison sentences for people convicted of illegally possessing a gun.
“All five of these points are reasonable,” McCarthy said.
However, since concealed carry became legal in Illinois, reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
McCarthy also told WVON in an earlier interview:
“You put more guns on the street expect more shootings,” McCarthy said. “I don’t care if they’re licensed legal firearms, people who are not highly trained… putting guns in their hands is a recipe for disaster. So I’ll train our officers that there is a concealed carry law, but when somebody turns with a firearm in their hand the officer does not have an obligation to wait to get shot to return fire and we’re going to have tragedies as a result of that. I’m telling you right up front.”
Legal gun owners like an elderly resident of St. Clair County defended himself with a firearm in May when burglar broke into his home and a concealed carry permit holder or when a concealed carry permit holder in Chicago potentially prevented a mass shooting.
More recently, an 86-year old man with a concealed carry permit in Illinois, the Washington Times reports, was described by law enforcement as a “model citizen” for helping “others avoid being victims” at an AT&T store outside Chicago where he saw an armed robbery in progress.
The Times says that McCarthy claims that the drop in Chicago’s crime rate is due to improved police training and “intelligent policing strategies” pointing to the confiscation of 1,300 illegal guns in the first three months of the year.
“The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers, ” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.