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By Dean Weingarten

Texas is one of the few states that actually tracks crimes committed by concealed carry weapon permit holders. In Texas, the permit is called a concealed handgun license, or CHL. The Texas Department of Public Safety has filed annual reports of the convictions of CHL holders from 1996 through 2011. They wait two years to obtain final conviction information and compile all the data before publishing their totals. As you might expect, the number of CHL holders who commit murder or manslaughter is remarkably low. According to the DPS reports, the number of murder and manslaughter convictions for CHL holders has totaled 30 over the 16 years they’ve compiled the numbers . . .


DPS also reports on the number of active CHL holders for each year.  Those numbers were totalled to obtain the number of CHL holder-years. The total number of CHL holder-years for 1996-2011 is 4,295,429. The two numbers give us the ratio of CHL holder convictions for murder and manslaughter per 100,000 CHL holders per year. That number is  .70/100,000.

Yes, the decimal point is in the correct place. The rate of murder and manslaughter for the general population of Texas averaged for the years 1996-2011 is 6.0/100,000. You can compare that to national numbers here. What was that about the wild west?

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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    • Shhh! It will just be another tax and tracking method.
      Gov’t: “Only people with permits can have guns.”
      Us: “Wait, what?”
      Gov’t: “Well, by your own admission, in Texas, gun crime is substantially lower for those with licenses. So obviously, if people are licensed nationally, then the national rate will decrease accordingly.”

      Oprah: “Gun licenses for EVERYBODY! YAYYYY!”
      Gov’t: “That’ll be $125. YEARLY.”

      Constitution: “Um, I gotta little fire over here. Help?”

      • My Texas CHL is not to own a gun, but to carry it in public. “Only those with licenses can HAVE guns” is a very different argument from “Only those with licenses can carry guns in public.” Both have trouble when you put them up against the Second Amendment as written, but in our current political climate I think it’s an important distinction.

        • The new license do not have “concealed” on then, only “handgun license”. This is due to the “open carry” provision in Texas law that allows for “open carry” beginning in January 1, 2016.

    • No…requiring people would bring the CHL number up because as it stands now…given the choice…those with a vested interest in self defense seek the ability to defend themselves…this is why the CHL community is so self critical of people that DO have CHL’s and run amok…same goes for the gun community but CHL’ers have taken it above and beyond the average gun owner…we CHOOSE to no longer be victims and have come to the realization that no matter how fast a law enforcement officer tries to get there…the violence has already been done…CHL holders choose to carry a violence extinguisher, because self defense starts with “self” for a reason

    • No, Layne, the point is not that the license make a person law-abiding, but rather that only people willing to abide the law are willing to do the paperwork and submit to the background check. The numbers offered tell the confirming story, that people who have been law-abiding tend to stay that way, and that the carry of a concealed handgun does not convert a person into an aggressive undisciplined cowboy.

  1. Meanwhile, the crimes in Chicago are astronomically higher ,as detailed by surveying the concealed weapon carriers.

    Or at least that’s what the stats would say, if Chicago took the time to recognize and license the corner boyz on the S. 6000 block of Cicero Ave.

  2. These numbers should be tracked for every damn state (anonymously of course), but I bet the results would be similar, and that’s pretty scary to some people.

  3. Also impressive is looking at ALL crimes. Although CHL holders account for 1.99% of the total population of Texas, they are responsible for only 0.188% of total criminal convictions. This means that CHL holders are 10.6 times MORE law abiding than the general population.

    2011 conviction report says that 0.1884% of total convictions were of CHL holders. 2011 active licensee count is 518,625. Estimated population of Texas is 26,059,203.

    BTW — police officers are nearly equal to the general public in crime rate when looking at “all violent crimes.” CHL holders are convicted of crimes at a lower rate than law enforcement officers. from

    I believe Florida also tracks crimes committed by concealed weapon permit holders and has consistently shown similar findings.

    • Jeremy, this comes close to the question I always want answered when I hear these statistics: Murder or manslaughter, okay, interesting, but how many CHL/CPL/CCW holders are convicted of illegally shooting someone (or shooting at someone) when that shooting did NOT result in death?

      I think this should be an important stat in determining the over-all trustworthiness of CCW holders. Not just how many people they are convicted of shooting to death, but how many did they TRY to shoot to death.

      • You can pretty much see that info in the first link in my post above ( It breaks down every type of conviction in Texas, by all appearances. So while it may not be gun-specific, you can see people convicted of, for example, aggravated assault w/ a deadly weapon (0.1085% were CHL holders) or criminal negligent homicide (0.0%) or deadly conduct discharge firearm (0.8197%), etc…. gotta just read through that list and see what might apply.

    • If only 2% have permits….that’s extremely low, far from the gun rights utopia Texas is often made out to be.

      Even Michigan, which is about as blue as a red state can get has about 6% of the population with permits to carry, not to mention the unlicensed open carry.

      • considering Texas has almost 3 times the population as Michigan, your argument is invalid. plus we do not have open carry.

      • Considering you could place 6 Michigan’s inside the state boudries of Texas. That comment is challenged at best…. compare population and get back with us….LOL. I’m betting Texas has as many CHL holders at Michigan has total residents…..

    • Yes, as I explained to a friend once. Because carry permits are not given to criminals in the first place. Imagine that, people who are not criminals tend not to commit crimes. Or, more importantly, giving a law abiding citizen permission to carry a gun doesn’t turn him or her into a criminal.

  4. Layne, you’re being disingenuous. People who go through the nonsense involved in getting a CHL are by nature disinclined to disobey the law.

  5. Seems like the truth could be completely in our favor and it wouldn’t matter. If ALL CHL’s were not only not criminals, but drove school buses and taught sunday school, if EVERY woman who owned a gun used it to stop a rapist, and if EVERY home invasion was stopped by a gun wielding home owner, the story would be “are all these ‘harmless’ gun owners just one bad day away from killing us all at the same time!?!?!” Then the criminals would be morphed into “innocent children” (like they are now) and POTG would be mass murdering psychopaths again.

    • ^ This.

      I have stated on here repeatedly: gun grabbers are hysterical. They keep talking hoping that something sticks. And if nothing sticks, they simply resort to trying to shout us down. It doesn’t matter what you say, they want government to take your guns away. Their talk is simply one method they use to try and disarm us. They are not interested in dialogue or common sense solutions to violent crime. Those are buzz words designed to shame us or guilt us into submission. And that is the desired end result: submission.

      After all, isn’t that what guns are all about? A gun in a citizen’s hand means the citizen does not have to submit to a tyrant. Now does everyone understand why government and the gun grabbers want our firearms?

  6. The criminal elements of society don’t ask for permission to own or carry weapons… Let that sink in for a minute.

  7. Wild west? I seem to recall reading some years ago that there was a total of around 45 homicides in all the Kansas cowtowns during the entire trail drive period. Doubtless some would have survived with modern medicine. On the other hand, you could leave your home unlocked and women could walk the streets unmolested. Bring back the Wild West.

    • The west was Wild mainly in the gaudy portrayals of the penny novels, fondly read by timid easterners as they remained indoors to avoid the predations of big city crime. Half of Manhattan, the lower east side and Hell’s Kitchen, was a hell-hole in the 1870’s-1920’s. No western town would have tolerated the crime of the Bowery or Chicago’s meat-packing district. Wyatt Earp, no angel, was a saint compared to the big-city police sergeants in Philadelphia or Chicago that were contemporary to the Earps.

  8. Apparently Texas CHL issuers aren’t all that bright if they issued a license to Bob Saget wearing a bad excuse for Groucho Marx costume.

  9. (gun grabber with hands firmly covering their ears): La La La La La La La La La I can’t hear you La La La La La La La La La!

  10. Can we get the conviction rate for LEO?
    I vaguely remember mention of a stat from FL about permit holders having lower rate than LEO.

    • They published the LEO conviction rates in Texas a few years back and not only were they FAR worse than that of CHL holders, I believe they were actually worse than that of the general population in many categories.

  11. These results shouldn’t be surprising. Holders of concealed carry permits are a self-selecting group of law abiding, responsible citizens. If they weren’t, they couldn’t get past the background check. Training to get the permit makes them still less likely to go wrong.

  12. This is somewhat skewed. Saying responsible, law-abiding citizens that take proactive measures to protect themselves and their families are less likely than the general population average to be convicted of manslaughter seems like a no-brainer. I’m not saying people should not carry or get training, but not everyone can carry. Most people quite simply aren’t up to snuff and would be one freakout away from handing a gun over to a criminal or leaving it on a restroom counter. Seriously, look at the people around you in public, I’m surprised anyone trusts some of them with car keys or a cell phone. I wish everyone were up to the same standard, although then pretty much everything would be different, but it’s just a wish.

  13. Ya way to go Texas ,go after law abiding citizens ,lets NOT go after gang bangers or illegal guns that’s too much work so we are going to track people who are obeying the law and have a Constitutional RIGHT to carry,it’s called keep( own ) and bear(carry) arms ,ever heard of it ? Been around awhile!

  14. I think the rates are even lower. You compare the murder rate per year in TX to the rate over 16 years for CHL holders. So, a better comparison might be 1.875 (30/16) CHL holder murders per year, which would give you a rate more than 10-fold lower, more like .044/100K if my quick calcs are right. Then, that’s murders + manslaughter for CHL holders. Is the general Texas figure just murders but not manslaughters? If so, that would make the comparison even more extreme.

    • The ratio is what is caculated, not the total murders/manslaughters.

      The .70 convictions of CHL holders per 100,000 CHL holders per year is correct. It is averaged for the entire period.

  15. It’s important to note that the 30 convictions of DHL holders does NOT say if the deaths occurred outside or INSIDE the home. No DHL licence is needed for the gun inside the home — where domestic disputes usually arise.

    Hence the CARRY crime deaths outside the home is surely considerably smaller than the paltry 30 deaths noted here.

  16. Know what is the best predictor of a state’s gun deaths per 100,000? The percentage of blacks. About half the murder victims in America are black, and 94% of them are killed by other blacks. The black ‘culture’ venerates gangsta living and violence — and black men seldom marry when they have kids (high correlation of single parent homes and violence in black male children).

    Look at the other states in this article. Vermont, which lets people bring howitzers to Denny’s for breakfast without a permit, as a gun death rate 1/3 of Texas. It’s 96% white. Look at the other states:

    Is that racist of me to point out facts? Surely many would think so. Especially people like Obama and Sharpton who play the race card almost constantly. The LAST thing they want to discuss is the culpability of the black community.

  17. This of course doesn’t mention those whom have had their guns stolen or used in “accidental” negligent shootings. But right, guns are cool.

  18. Please correct me if I am wrong:
    0.7 per 100,000 for 4,295,429 CHL holders is compared to 60 per 100,000 for 350,000,000 in the general population.

    This means 0.7 murders out of the 60 murders total per 100,000 are committed by CHL holders. By ratio, this is:

    0.7 / 60 = 0.012 (or 1.2% of CHL holders are convicted of murder)
    4,295,429 / 350,000,000 = 0.012 (or 1.2% of people are CHL holders)

    Which means that 1.2% of convicted murders are committed by the same 1.2% of the population that are CHL holders.

    So CHL are convicted of murder at the same rate as the population. Right? How is this something to note? Simply that it didn’t become a lawless shootout?

    • Hard to know where to begin:

      1. There are not 350 million people in America. It’s about 319 million.

      2. Counting all people in your comparison is wrong. Kids should be excluded from the population (unless they also are concealed carry permit holders — a rather uncommon occurrence).

      3. MOST IMPORTANT: You fail to understand what the “4,295,429” figure is. That’s NOT the number of concealed carry holders in America. It’s the total cc holder MAN YEARS in Texas. It’s derived by taking the number of Texas CC holders (currently at a new high of about 826,000) times the number of years covered in the study — 1996 through 2011. I might add that it appears the study grossly understates the total cc man years – thus OVERstating the murder frequency of such holders.

  19. Latest Texas stats prove that the 800,000+ concealed carry permit holders seldom murder anyone
    by Richard Rider

    Again and again we hear the usual laments from the uninformed gun haters about concealed carry — how it would transform — DOES transform — a civilized society into the Wild West. You know the mantra — shootouts at fender-benders, bars ablaze with gunfights, etc.

    It’s always fun to inject a dose of reality into such gun haters — it’s toxic to their wellbeing. Here’s a sharp needle-full of facts for your favorite anti-gun friends. They never actually check the empirical results of people legally carrying firearms — that just arrogantly assume that they know what the results are.

    The short article below highlights the URL-available stats about the ACTUAL experience of concealed carry in Texas. People pack heat with great frequency in the Lone Star State — about 4.26% of the adults have a permit — 826,000 as of December, 2014. The adult (18 and over) population of Texas in 2013 was 19,406,000. Only Florida and Pennsylvania issue more permits.

    Turns out that these heat packers are far less likely to shoot someone than the rest of the population. Indeed, the non-permit holders of Texas — the ones NOT allowed to legally carry a firearm in public — are about NINE times more likely per person to murder someone with a gun than is a permit holder.

    Here’s more ammo — a link to the official 2013 crime statistics in Texas, comparing the crimes of concealed carry permit holders with the full population.

    Perhaps the three most important bottom line points to consider from these stats:
    1. In Texas, there were 364 convictions for murder in 2013 — THREE were committed by concealed carry permit holders.
    2. There were 91 convictions for manslaughter — ZERO were committed by CC folks.
    3. For all types of crimes in Texas, there were 50,869 convictions. CC holders were convicted of 158 of those crimes.

    Could this be a one-year statistical aberration? It could be, but it isn’t. Here’s the link to get the annual Texas conviction figures for each year dating back to 1996.

    Let me add that the tiny three 2013 murder convictions of the CC holders probably OVERSTATES their abuse of their right to carry. Except for criminals, most murders occur in the home — where the CC permit is not an issue (not necessary to have a firearm at home).

    But let me be fair — the odds are that such overwhelming empirical evidence is not likely to change a single progressive’s mind. To present such objective facts is to reveal that I’m surely in the employ of dark powers, and probably a racist to boot. This knee-jerk response is embedded deep in the progressive’s DNA — let’s not hold them personally responsible for this inability to process facts, or to rebut logical thoughts.

  20. Richard Rider, let’s look at numbers that we can actually verify. 2011 is the last year that has data for all the information desired: population, CC population, and murder + manslaughter rates.

    So, for 2011 data in Texas:
    pop over 20:
    pop with CC permits:
    tot murders + manslaughter convictions:
    112 + 461 = 573
    CC permit holder murder + manslaughter convictions:
    3 + 3 = 6
    % of pop has CC permits:
    519,000 / 17,524,000 = 0.0296 = 3%
    % of convicted murder or manslaughter are CC permit holders
    6 / 573 = 0.0105 = 1%
    per 100,000 convicted of murder or manslaughter per 100,000 CC permit holders:
    (6 / 519,000) * 100,000 = 1.16
    per 100,000 convicted of murder or manslaughter total:
    573 / 17,524,000 = 3.27
    % CC permit holders are _less_ likely than general population to be convicted of murder or manslaughter
    1 – (1.16 / 3.27) = 0.65 = 65%

    Which establishes your argument in a sense. The sense that it doesn’t support you is that the data is very weak. With so few convictions for CC holders, any increase or decrease in the number of convictions changes a lot. For example, if CC holders had 11 more murder or manslaughter convictions, they would have the same likelihood as the general population. Now, 11 more means nearly 3X more murder or manslaughter convictions within that group, but 11 is also not very many in terms of real-world activity in Texas.

    Also note this is only concerning _conviction_ rates. There certainly are more people in both groups that have killed someone illegally and had a devious lawyer, or been convicted of shooting someone illegally who hasn’t died, or shot someone legally solely because they had a gun. Looking only at convictions paints a rosy picture: with a state-wide encouragement of concealed carry, DAs find less legal recourse to convict.

    Richard, are so insistent that your position be true that you have found data you like, and are holding to it regardless of the fogginess of that data. I suspect you will not be able to change your stance from an absolute one to being able to question what you believe. This is the core problem of many gun-rights activists.

    • Sooo, tesdee, first you agree I’m basically right about the data (even after you cherry pick a different year rather than using the most recent 2013 year with lower crime numbers and a significantly higher number of CC permit holders), and then you turn right around and start making wild claims about CC holders having a licence to kill — that “devious lawyers” get ’em off the hook when they murder, and police condone such shootings. You present not a shred of evidence. You think “devious lawyers” work only for CC holders?

      No sale.

      Moreover, go back to the other years’ data. You’ll find a consistent pattern of low murder rates for CC holders.

      Finally, these Texas murder rates do NOT differentiate whether or not the CC holder was outside the house. Surely many and likely most such murders occur in the home, where the CC permit is not needed to purchase a gun (legally or otherwise).

      More important, the murder and manslaughter figures don’t even indicate that a gun was used in the crime. Often as not manslaughter is the result of a drunk driving a car. If that drunk has a CC permit, he’s listed under that CC category.

      • Richard Rider:

        2011 is the latest _complete_ data for all points of interest. Read more carefully.

        I did not say that CC holders were the only ones with devious lawyers; it was _both_ groups. Read more carefully.

        DAs having less legal recourse to convict is not saying anything about cops. Read more carefully.

        No evidence is needed since plea bargains and other protections against conviction are an actual thing. Read more carefully.

        If you are defending the murder+manslaughter rates and defending CC holders based on this, then that’s your data that you are arguing against. So you figure out whether you actually want to be arguing on that data.

        Finally, if murder+manslaughter rates don’t differentiate weapon, this makes the CC holders actually _more_ likely to be convicted of murder+manslaughter by gun, because there would be fewer murder+manslaughter convictions by gun on the non-CC holder’s side of the data. It’s pretty clear that you don’t understand how statistics work intuitively, so you will have to work harder to understand data when it is given to you.

        In general, just be more careful that you understand my points. They are pretty good counter arguments.

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