“If my research convinces me of anything,” [John R. Lott Jr.] said, “it’s that you’re going to get the biggest reduction in crime if the people who are most likely victims of violent crime, predominantly poor Blacks, are the ones who are getting the permits.”
In Dallas, there has been a rise in the number of homicides deemed to be justifiable, such as those conducted in self-defense, even as overall shootings have declined from last year’s high levels.
“We’ve had justifiable shootings where potential victims have defended themselves,” said the Dallas police chief, Eddie Garcia. “It cuts both ways.”
Last October in Port Arthur, Texas, a man with a handgun, who had a license, saw two armed robbers at a Church’s Chicken and fired through the drive-through window, fatally striking one of the men and wounding the other. His actions were praised by the local district attorney.
Michael Mata, the president of the local police union in Dallas, said that he and his fellow officers had seen no increase in violent crime tied to the new permitless carry law, though there were “absolutely” more guns on the street.
Sheriff David Soward of Atascosa County, a rural area south of San Antonio, said he had also seen no apparent increase in shootings. “Only a small percentage of people actually take advantage of the law,” he said.
— J. David Goodman in Texas Goes Permitless on Guns, and Police Face an Armed Public