Violent Crime Rates Drop After Passage of Permitless Carry Law in Ohio
Last June, Ohio joined the ranks of states allowing “permitless carry,” a law permitting legal gun owners to bear arms without requiring a government-issued permit. Opponents of this law predicted that Ohio would become a more dangerous place as a result, arguing that Republicans prioritized the gun lobby’s approval over the safety of Ohioans and police officers. However, recent FBI crime statistics for 2022 reveal that the opposite occurred.
In 2022, both Ohio and the United States witnessed a decrease in overall violent crime rates. Ohio reported a 7.5% drop from 2021, while the U.S. saw a 1.63% decrease. Homicide rates followed the same trend, declining in both Ohio and the United States after previous increases in 2021 and 2020.
Ohio’s homicide rate in 2022 was 6.1 per 100,000 people, down from 7.5 in 2021 and 7 in 2020, according to FBI data. Nationally, the homicide rate was 6.3 in 2022, a decrease from 6.5 in 2020 and 6.8 in 2021.
These statistics contradict the predictions of anti-gun activists who claimed that permitless carry would make Ohio more dangerous. Ohio is now safer than before, and the doomsday scenarios painted by opponents of the law have been proven wrong.
Although 2023’s statewide crime statistics are yet to be released, crime analyst Jeff Asher’s Year-to-Date Murder Comparison dashboard shows a continuing decline in homicide rates in many Ohio cities. For example, Akron has seen a nearly 40% reduction in its murder rate. Homicides in Cincinnati decreased by 13%, and murders in Toledo dropped by 30%.
However, Cleveland and Columbus have experienced an increase in murders, with Cleveland seeing a rise of almost 14% and Columbus experiencing a 9.6% increase. Anti-gun politicians in these cities blame Republican lawmakers and the “gun lobby” for the spike in crime. Yet, these cities are the outliers, as most of Ohio and the country are experiencing a decline in violent crime rates.
The majority of individuals responsible for homicides and violent offenses in the state were already carrying firearms without permits before permitless carry became law. They disregard misdemeanor gun laws just as they ignore committing violent felonies. This data demonstrates that more permissive gun laws do not equate to more crime. It is possible to protect the Second Amendment rights of responsible citizens while simultaneously addressing violent crime. The “more guns, more crime” myth has been debunked once again.