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Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy

Public Gun Carrying

Carrying a concealed handgun in public has the potential to enable would-be victims of violent crime to thwart attempted acts of violence, but also poses potential threats to public safety.

The Center’s work in this area focuses on the growing body of evidence showing that the deregulation of civilian gun carrying leads to more violence. Center faculty have authored a report debunking myths that proponents of right-to-carry put forth, researched the impact of campus carry (guns on campus) legislation, and conducted public opinion polling on concealed carry.

Key Statistic

Eighty-three percent of gun owners and eighty-three percent of Republicans want much higher safety standards for concealed carry permit holders than are required in right-to-carry and permitless carry states.[1]

“Proponents of right-to-carry laws that make it easy for individuals to legally carry firearms in public often blame mass shootings on ‘gun-free zones’ and argue that arming more civilians can deter or stop mass shootings. The best available evidence, however, does not support these claims.”

– Alex McCourt, Assistant Scientist




[1] Barry et al. Public Support for Gun Violence Prevention Policies Among Gun Owners and Non-Gun Owners in 2017. Am J Public Health. 2018 Jul;108(7):878-881. Epub 2018 May 17