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Chicago crime rate declines as CCW applications rise, says report

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The Washington Times yesterday reported that the crime rate has dropped in Chicago since Illinois adopted a concealed carry licensing system; a change in stature that was forced on the legislature by a pair of lawsuits that included the Second Amendment Foundation’s Moore v. Madigan.

The other lawsuit, Shepherd v. Madigan, was filed by the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling applied to both cases. It is doubtful that either SAF or the NRA will be credited with forcing the state to adopt a law that appears to be contributing to a decline in Windy City crime.

According to the Washington Times report, “the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. 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.”

Politico is quoting Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this morning, asserting that the Windy City is not the nation’s “murder capital.” That story also cites a lower homicide count this year than reported in 2013. The story also points to Chicago Police Department statistics showing homicides down seven percent from last year at this time and 20 percent from the same period in 2010. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says the city is the safest it has been in a half-century.

The Washington Times report quotes Richard Pearson, executive director of the 30,000-member Illinois State Rifle Association. ISRA partnered with SAF on the landmark McDonald v. City of Chicago case that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states, and with the NRA on the Shepard case.

Pearson told Examiner Monday morning that the decline in crime actually started when lawmakers began seriously discussing concealed carry. In the Washington Times piece, he said, “It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect.” He stands by that statement.

He also said ISRA just mailed about 22,700 notices to members that the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference will be held in Chicago late next month. SAF co-sponsors the event with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The GRPC will be held Sept. 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Airport.

While it is unlikely Mayor Emanuel or Supt. McCarthy, or any anti-gun-rights organization will give even token credit to the notion that concealed carry laws are a crime deterrent, the revelation is not lost on gun rights activists who will gather in Chicago next month. It is less likely that either the mayor or his top cop will attend GRPC, but it might make for a lively discussion if they did.

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