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Residents of the Volunteer State are stepping up and packing heat, according to statistics released by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. In January 2008, 191,208 Tennesseans had carry permits. As of February 2015, that number has mushroomed to 488,911. With 6.5 million people now living in Tennessee, that means roughly one out of every thirteen Vols are licensed to carry . . .

Dave Boucher, writing for The Tennessean, concurrently reports that the number of “crimes against persons” involving a firearm in Tennessee dropped from 10,426 in 2008 to 9,117 in 2013 (the most recent year for which figures were reported.) During the same time period, the number of accidental deaths from firearms in the state increased from 985 to 1030  (according to the CDC, see table 19).

Since no article about guns in a legacy media outlet would be complete without a money quote from a gun grabber, Boucher reached for Beth Joslin Roth of something called the Safe Tennessee Project. In this case, deprived by the facts of of a “more gun, more crime” talking point or rivers of blood running through the streets, all she can manage is to mumble something about accidents that happen when someone “drops a gun or forgets that a gun is loaded.”

So, to recap: number of carry permits up 155%; assaults with a firearm down by 13%, accidental deaths up 5%.

That said, has anyone actually heard of the Safe Tennessee Project? Is it somehow possible that this is just another Bloomberg astroturf group? Because the only place I see a web presence for them is on a Facebook (204 likes) and mentions in three articles…from The Tennessean. What are the odds?

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  1. People in Tenn. commonly carrying single action revolvers like that shown? Looks like a .22 to boot. Not my first choice, but it would work.

    • Huh? The video I watched featured a double action revolver in what appeared to be 36 caliber (.38, .357 or 9mm) and nothing like a toy. Did we see the same firearm?

    • I think most of us TN residents carry a bigger than a .22, I carry either my Glock 26 or 42. Both in 9mm. My HighPoint .45acp is too bulky for concealed carry, but serves real well as a bed side gun. If you miss with that, the sound of it going off indoors is enough to give the bad guy a heart attack.

      • “My HighPoint .45acp is too bulky for concealed carry…”

        You could have stopped at “HighPoint” 😉

    • It’s much, much bigger and older than “Shooter”. A disproportional number of firearm companies and reloading suppliers are based in TN.
      Once you add to the math the percentage of the population that’s not eligible to get a permit (kids, felons) the number goes up to closer to 1 in 10 (that’s what it is in my county).

      • I live in Chattanooga, and did this math in 2013. I agree, when you take out the population that is underage factor in comes in closer to 1 in 10. I used a few other parameters also to get to 1 in 10 but I think that is a pretty solid number. Remember now this is only PERMITTED folks. Trust me the minority is permitted as I lived in TN for 5 years before I decided to get a carry permit. I really believe the number is closer to 1 in 8 that carry either full time or sporadically.

    • Your state sounds wonderful!!!. Anyone and everyone I ever met who has been to Tenn has nothing but good things to say about it. From the people, weather and the land. I live in Catskill mnt area of NY ( I know, I know, everything you have heard about NY is true

      • My wife and I are heading down to your beautiful state in June for a visit. Anyone mind if we stay there awhile , probably the rest of our lives??. After 49 years in NY just can’t take it any longer. They charge you more & more for less & less. Like the saying goes here,” if you ain’t nyc you ain’t s***”. I’m not NYC and tired of being s***!!!!!

  2. “the number of accidental deaths from firearms in the state increased from 985 to 1030”

    +1000 people died in Tennessea in 2013? And these are only the accidental deaths from firearms? Must be a mistake.

    • That cannot possibly be right. There were on the order of 600 accidental deaths from firearms in the entire United States in 2013. How could Tennessee have more accidental deaths from firearms than the entire nation?

    • I checked table 19. It is all encompasing “injury by firearms” presumebly including suicides and homicides. I expect the accidental death rate is near 0.

      • That’s the typical Bloomer sponsored group schtick. Combine suicides, homicides etc. and spin it up.

        • Don’t forget police shootings and self-defense. They tend to throw all of them in the same bucket. There was a report on here where they did that.

  3. The Memphis Commercial Appeal was dickish enough to publish all our names and addresses. Dickish!

    • Yeah, I looked up quite a few people when that list was still available. I found my boss and told him about it :p. I’m glad TN made it illegal to do list the names a couple years ago, though.

  4. Wow. And if you subtract people who are ineligible to carry (e.g. due to age) from the total population, the numbers are even better.

    Let’s estimate the percentage of people who are ineligible to carry (too young, too old, etc.) at 25% of the population of 6.5 million. Thus 25% of 6.5 million is 1.625 million people leaving 4.875 million people who are eligible to have a concealed carry license. Since about 488,000 people in Tennessee have a concealed carry license, that means about 1 in 10 eligible adults has a concealed carry license in Tennessee!

    On the down side I doubt even 50% of those people are actually armed in public at any given time. That means only about 1 in 20 adults in public are armed. I would like to see a much higher number to really reduce violent crime. As it stands, if you are a violent criminal, you can attack 20 people and the odds are that only one of them will be armed. And since a lot of people are satisfied to do nothing more than produce a firearm and point it at an attacker without firing, an attacker still stands a very good chance of coming out of their attack unscathed.

    • Actually I think your ‘carrying’ number is a bit off, quite a bit.
      Everyone I know that has gotten a concealed carry permit in TN always carries, no exceptions. If they’ve got to go into the court house they lock their guns in their cars/trucks.
      Even when they’re just working out in their yard they carry. and that’s not even counting all of the little old ladies that are packing heat in their purses without a concealed carry permit.
      I wouldn’t believe any survey about people carrying in TN because unless they know you, you won’t see their gun until there’s trouble and it becomes necessary to pull it out.

    • Agreed. I would put that number as low as 15% who actually carry every day. And how many of that low number actually take training classes and practice?

  5. Maybe The Safe Tennessee Project is The Tennessean’s in-house gun-grabbers organization…

  6. I see constitutional carry language being bandied about–any chance of that happening, you Tennessee guys? The more places it happens, the better for everyone .

    • Umm, yeah, it actually has a decent chance. It almost happened last year – got killed after getting voted “yes” several times in different places only to die in a budget sub committee because it was going to cost $100k to change some paperwork. :/ It passed, I think, our State Senators. I think our governator pulled some strings to kill it the underhand way.
      But I didn’t even hear about it until AFTER it had passed it’s votes. Came out of no-where, no fuss from the people or anything.

      • It was actually all over the place for weeks. Follow the Tennessee Firearms Association to stay abreast.

  7. If you look at the linked document, 1030 deaths in TN is NOT the total due to accidental gun discharges! Table 19 has a column listed “Injury by firearms6”. Footnote 6 says – “6. ICD-10 codes for Injury by firearms are *U01.4,W32-W34,X72-X74,X93-X95,Y22-Y24, and Y35.0; see Technical Notes.”

    Below are the ICD-10 codes in question-
    W32 Accidental handgun discharge and malfunction
    W33 Accidental rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge and malfunction
    W34 Accidental discharge and malfunction from other and unspecified firearms and guns

    X72 Intentional self-harm by handgun discharge
    X73 Intentional self-harm by rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge
    X74 Intentional self-harm by other and unspecified firearm and gun discharge

    X93 Assault by handgun discharge
    X94 Assault by rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge
    X95 Assault by other and unspecified firearm and gun discharge
    (note- ICD ‘assault’ includes homicide)

    Y22 Handgun discharge, undetermined intent
    Y23 Rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge, undetermined intent
    Y24 Other and unspecified firearm discharge, undetermined intent

    Y35 Legal intervention

    In short, Table 19 lists ALL causes of firearm death, including suicide, murder, & undetermined deaths, plus lawful police shootings, not merely accidental discharges.

      • You also need to use rates per 100,000 population and not raw numbers. If you do so you will find the death rate by firearm injury went DOWN.

    • Figured as much. Weaseley bastards are always throwing crime and suicide into the numbers for “accident” stats. Both those are by definition intentional, so how the hell can you claim to include them in an accidents statistic?

      • Wife and I just built a house up the valley a piece from Chattanooga. Plus I’ve got a good friend in Nashville. Gun guy too.

        • @greenmeanie You’ll like it it here. Close to the city. Close to the country. Came here for a temporary contract in 1999 and never left. 🙂

  8. First of all, the number of “deaths” are all firearms deaths for the state. Not just accidents. Says so right on the table.

    Second of all, when you stop quoting useless raw numbers and actually quote rates per 100,000 population, you see the rate of “injury by firearm” deaths went down. From 16 per 100,000 to 15.7 per 100,000.

    Sloppy work. Because the news is even better than the article states.

  9. According to the US Census Bureau, the population of Tennessee between 2008 and 2014 has gone up by… drum roll… 5%*! So the increase in ALL firearm related deaths correlates nearly perfectly with the increase in population. All that tells me is that more guns in the mix doesn’t actually make people more likely to want to kill themselves or others. Whodathunkit?

    *The actual difference is about 4.8%, but then with rounding, the number of firearms-related deaths is actually only up 4.6%. So technically, the population outpaced the number of firearm-related deaths, but not by a statistically significant margin.

    • I should also point out that suicide is up and homicide is down in Tennessee according to the charts. The numbers for California and New York also show that total fire-arm related deaths are down, as are homicides in general. But suicide is up in those states as well. And in all cases, the rates are either up or down to match the increase or decrease in absolute values appropriately.

      The country as a whole is safer (from a strictly homicide point of view) now than it was in 2008. But more people don’t want to live in it.

  10. To answer your question: as a Tennessee HCP holder, I’ve never heard of the Safe Tennessee Project.

  11. I’m live in Tn, and I’ve never heard of safe Tennessee. Fun fact, this week is “gun week” for the Tn legislator. Over 50 pro gun bills will be considered/voted on. Woop

  12. I moved to TN back in the 80’s. I had a chance to talk to a city policeman and asked him the proper way to transport a handgun in my vehicle (sans permit). He explained the proper handling, and then added at the end, that if they hauled in everyone they stopped for a traffic infraction that had a (loaded) handgun fall out of the glove compartment they would have half the city in jail.

  13. Tennessee has a training requirement for a carry permit as well. Imagine if they didn’t.

  14. We have a Handgun Carry Permit, not a Concealed Carry Permit. It can be carried concealed or openly, your choice.

  15. This article is a joke considering the fact that more than ninety nine percent of all theft and assaults are committed by armed government agents and bureaucrats, not private criminals. Most people are clueless because they have been completely brainwashed by government propaganda that begins in the first grade.

  16. This article is a joke considering the fact that more than ninety nine percent of all theft and assaults are committed by armed government agents and bureaucrats acting in the name of unjust laws and wars. not private criminals. Most people are clueless because they have been completely brainwashed by government propaganda that begins in the first grade.

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