The U.S. Conference of Mayors met for their 85th Annual Meeting from June 23-26 in sunny Miami Beach, Fla. Continuing a tradition almost as old as the meeting, the assembled mayors schemed on how to prevent the American people from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.
This year, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio put forward a resolution expressing the USCM’s opposition to National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation. The resolution was adopted, with only Mayor Billy Hewes of Gulfport, Miss. and Mayor Kyle Moore of Quincy, Ill. registering their opposition.
As one might expect, the resolution was long on rhetoric and short on facts. According to the preamble to the resolution, National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation is “dangerous,” and is “completely antithetical to all of the efforts to reduce and prevent gun violence.” More broadly, the mayors contend that “gun laws play a significant role… in the rapid decline of violent crime.” The resolution was immediately applauded by former-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety.
For 30 years, whenever Right-to-Carry legislation has been proposed in a new state, anti-gun activists have made hyperbolic predictions about the “carnage” that would result. None of these predictions have ever materialized. From the advent of the modern Right-to-Carry law in Florida in 1987 to today, the country has gone from having 10 Right-to-Carry states to 42 and permit reciprocity has improved. In that time period (to 2015) the violent crime rate decreased nearly 40 percent while the murder rate fell 41 percent.
A simple glance at the FBI’s violent crime statistics shows Right-to-Carry opponents’ fears have not come true. However, most of the academic research on Right-to-Carry laws has also shown that these laws either lessen or have no effect on crime rates.
Moreover, Right-to-Carry permit holders have proven themselves to be among the nation’s most law-abiding demographics. Right-to-Carry permit revocation data from Florida and Texas has repeatedly shown that permit holders are more law-abiding than the general public.
As to USCM’s sweeping contention about the general efficacy of gun laws, the evidence does not support their claim. A 2013 memo from the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice surveyed research on several types of gun controls popular with anti-gun activists, including so-called “universal” background checks, buybacks, magazine restrictions, and semi-auto bans. The NIJ argued that such controls were largely ineffective unless paired with further severe controls, such as confiscation. Similarly, a 2004 review of gun control by the National Academy of Sciences does not support USCM’s wild conclusions.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors met for their 85th Annual Meeting from June 23-26 in sunny Miami Beach, Fla. Continuing a tradition almost as old as the meeting, the assembled mayors schemed on how to