Chicago police are reporting that the murder rate for the first quarter of the year is the lowest it’s been in more than 50 years, which gun advocates are attributing to a concealed carry law passed in Illinois last year.
The first three months of 2014 have seen the fewest number of homicides since 1958 — six fewer than this time in 2013, and 55 fewer than this time in 2012, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Gun-rights advocates argue that concealed carry laws can reduce crime and keep the population safer. The state began accepting applications for permits in January.
“The facts are every time guns have been allowed, concealed-carry has been allowed, the crime rate has gone down,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, just months before Illinois passed the concealed carry law in July 2013.
But Chicago Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy says the opposite is what’s reducing crime: police have recovered 1,300 illegal guns during the first three months of 2014.
Mr. McCarthy also attributed the drop in violence to better police training and community programs to keep kids off the street. Both the city’s top cop and its mayor, former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have said they oppose the concealed carry laws.