Violence Policy Center data: CHL holders are hyper-law-abiding


by Dan Lucas

Violence Policy Center data confirms that Oregon concealed handgun license (CHL) holders are hyper-law-abiding citizens, which is logical since CHL holders have to pass an FBI criminal background check to obtain their CHL.

Data from the anti-gun Violence Policy Center facilitated an analysis which shows that Oregon law enforcement officers are 28 times more likely to commit homicide than CHL holders, and that the average Oregonian – all ages – is 7 times more likely to commit homicide than a CHL holder.

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For a PDF version of this table, with hyperlinks, please click here.

This analysis is based on six years of data – the range of data that the Violence Policy Center currently tracks for CHL holders – and the homicides committed by Oregon law enforcement officers are not in the line of their duties as law enforcement officers.

The Violence Policy Center maintains a collection of information from May 2007 to the present on non-self-defense shootings by concealed carry holders, which facilitated this analysis.

The Violence Policy Center “Concealed Carry Killers” numbers also include the shooters if the shooters committed suicide, which overstates their numbers. None of the Oregon CHL holders who committed homicide also committed suicide, but one of the Oregon law enforcement officers did after murdering three people – and so if this analysis used the Violence Policy Center’s methodology, law enforcement officers would be 35 times more likely to commit homicide than CHL holders in Oregon.

This is not an attempt to disparage law enforcement officers in Oregon or average Oregonians, but it is to demonstrate that CHL holders are hyper-law-abiding citizens. As state Rep. Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) said back in 2011, “As a retired police officer with over 31 years of law enforcement experience in Oregon, I can tell you that concealed handgun license holders pose no threat to their neighbors.” Rep. Chris Edwards (D-Eugene), talking about CHL privacy rights in 2009, referred to CHL holders as “the good guys.”

Despite being hyper-law-abiding, CHL holders are still human, just as law enforcement officers are and just as average Oregonians are, and as such, will sometimes succumb to very human frailties. In Oregon, that has happened far less frequently for CHL holders than law enforcement officers and much less frequently than average Oregonians.

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Additional resource: Homicides by Oregon Law Enforcement May 2007 to Present

UPDATE Aug 2016: Crime Prevention Research Center report finds concealed-carry permit holders commit firearms violation misdemeanors and felonies at one-seventh of the rate for police officers

Table updated 3/20/2013 – with new CHL holder data source – to view original table click here.