An Analysis Of The Arrest Rate Of
Texas Concealed Handgun License Holders
As Compared To The Arrest Rate Of
The Entire Texas Population
1996 - 1998, Revised to include 1999 and 2000 data

by William E. Sturdevant, PE,
August 24, 2001

The original study as posted in 2000.
|Chart| |Males| |Females| |Notes|

Arrest Rate Comparison Chart

On January 1, 1996, the Texas Concealed Handgun Law went into effect. This law states that the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) "shall issue" a concealed handgun license (CHL) to any Texas resident who meets the application requirements for character (background check) and training. This is an analysis of arrest data for Texas concealed handgun licensees that was performed on data from the subsequent years of 1996 - 2000. A comparison was made with the arrest data for the entire Texas population for the same time period, showing that, on average: male Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.7 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than male Texans with a CHL; and female Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.5 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than female Texans with a CHL. Of the violent crime cases that have been adjudicated, approximately 26% of CHL holders who were arrested were convicted, and 44% are cleared of the violent crimes for which they were arrested.

The chart below illustrates the arrest rate comparison for each of the years 1996 – 2000.

The purpose of this analysis is to attempt to quantify the negative effect, if any, of Texas Concealed Handgun License holders on crime and crime rates through a comparison of arrests rates with the Texas population as a whole. The scope of this analysis is the five-year period from the law's enactment in January of 1996, through December of 2000. For the proper perspective, the analysis of the DPS arrest data for CHL holders is juxtaposed against the arrest data for the state's entire population.

Unfortunately, this analysis cannot attempt to quantify the positive effect, if any, of the Texas Concealed Handgun Law, as there is no data available regarding the number of crimes prevented or the number of lives saved when a concealed handgun is used in self-defense.

With the information available, a juxtaposition of the arrest rates for Texas CHL holders and the general public is the best, though imperfect, method of determining any negative effect (an increase in violent crime) of the Texas Concealed Handgun Law on Texas society. If allowing normally law abiding and peaceful citizens to carry a weapon concealed on their person were to somehow convert them into violent predators, it would be expected that CHL holders would have a higher crime rate than unlicensed Texans. The comparison of arrest rates suggests just the opposite-Texans licensed to carry a gun are much less violent than Texans who are not.

Since the age/sex demographics of the CHL group is so significantly different from that of the total Texas population, (Notes 1, 2), the comparison of the two groups was made between males age 21 years, CHL v. non-CHL; and females age 21 years, CHL v. non-CHL.

Males:

Top of Page

The average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 7.7 times more likely to be arrested for the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and assault than the average male CHL holder.

Looking at violent crimes individually, the average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 1.7 times (rate of 7.4 v. 4.3) more likely to be arrested for murder; 87 times (rate of 24 v. 0.3) more likely to be arrested for rape; 53 times (rate of 44 v. 0.8) more likely to be arrested for robbery; 3.4 times (rate of 202 v. 60) more likely to be arrested for aggravated assault; and 10 times (rate of 892 v. 87) more likely to be arrested for other assaults than the average male CHL holder.

No male Texas CHL holder was arrested for negligent manslaughter during the 1996 through 2000 period.

The average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 18 times more likely to be arrested for committing a non-violent crime than the average male CHL holder.

Females:

Top of Page

The average female Texan who is 21 years or older is 7.5 times more likely to be arrested for the violent crimes of murder and assault than the average female CHL holder.

Looking at violent crimes individually, the average female Texan who is 21 years or older is 2.0 times (rate of 1.2 v. 0.6) more likely to be arrested for murder; 2.5 times (rate of 48 v. 19) more likely to be arrested for aggravated assault; and 17 times (rate of 178 v. 11) more likely to be arrested for other assaults than the average female CHL holder.

No female Texas CHL holder has arrested for negligent manslaughter, rape, or robbery during the 1996 through 2000 period.

The average female Texan who is 21 years or older is 13 times more likely to be arrested for committing a non-violent crime than the average female CHL holder.

Notes:

Top of Page
  1. CHL holders are required by law to be at least 21 years old.
  2. CHL holders are approximately 80% male. Men have an arrest rate for violent crime that is approximately 5 times higher than that of women.

W. E. (Bill) Sturdevant, PE
Navasota, Texas
August 24, 2001

Download the original study, Sturdevant.pdf. This download requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free.

 

 

 

William E. Sturdevant, PE
Email him at mideng@txcyber.com.

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001,
William E. Sturdevant, PE.
Posted with permission.

Top of Page

Arrest Rates Comparison Chart
TCHA Home PageBack to Articles
© 2007; Texas Concealed Handgun Association. Contact TCHA.