With the Uvalde school shooting at Robb Elementary School in late May and last week’s shooting in a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, recent pushes by Democrats to ban certain types of guns or enact other forms of gun control laws have become rampant across Texas and the nation.

However, with the calls to place more restrictions on guns in the State of Texas, data provided by the National Rifle Association contradicts what many Democrat legislators believe: In about three decades, violent crime has dropped by more than half, while gun ownership has doubled.

According to Crimeresearch.org, “The five states in 2013 that allowed concealed carry without a permit had a much lower murder and violent crime rates than the five jurisdictions with the lowest permit rates.” The article goes on to explain, “The murder rate was 33 percent lower in the states not requiring permits.”  

Another study done in 2013 by the National Research Council showed that anywhere from 500,000 to 3 million times a year, guns were used in instances of self-defense. In fact, the data shows guns are used 16-100 times more often to protect lives rather than take them. 

States deemed “gun freedom” states, like New Hampshire and Idaho, have some of the lowest homicide rates, whereas “gun-control loving” states, like Maryland and Illinois, experience some of the highest rates of homicide.

Still, despite research showing that law-abiding citizens owning guns has been a net positive for the country, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, the Democrat candidate for Texas governor, has doubled down on his call for banning and confiscating all AR-15s, which he calls “assault rifles.”

“Not only should no one be able to purchase an AR-15 or AK-47,” O’Rourke said at a forum last week, “I don’t think that the people who have them now for civilian use should be able to keep them.” 

Some Democrats in the Texas Senate are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special session to consider legislation that would include raising the age to buy any firearm to 21. Other legislative proposals include regulating ownership of high capacity-magazines and implementing “red flag” confiscation laws and a “cooling off” waiting period when buying a gun. 

Many Democrat legislators have blamed Abbott and other Republican legislators for the mass shootings following the passage of seven different bills protecting gun rights in Texas last year.

In addition to the law that declared Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary state,” Abbott signed legislation declaring that Texans no longer needed a license to carry handguns (with exceptions), allowing gun owners to store their firearms in their hotel rooms, expanding the styles of holsters that may be used carry firearms, and prohibiting any government entity from contracting with businesses that discriminate against firearm and ammunition businesses. 

While Democrats continue to push for gun control, the research shows that an area is safer when law-abiding citizens are able to exercise their Second Amendment right.

Emily Wilkerson

Emily is a summer fellow for Texas Scorecard. She is a senior at the University of Oklahoma, studying journalism with a minor in political science. She enjoys investigative journalism and making sure that every side of a story is being told.

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