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Gun violence fell after new law allowing firearms owners to carry without a permit, study shows

A study of Ohio’s eight largest cities found gun violence decreased after a new law went into effect allowing residents to carry a concealed handgun without a licence or mandated training.

The study from the Center for Justice Research analysed gun crimes, verified gunshot detections and the number of police officers shot in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Parma and Canton, and found a decrease of up to 22% up to June 2023, Spectrum News reported.

The permitless carry la, which came into effect on June 13, 2022, was opposed by gun control advocates who called the Senate Bill 215 “dangerous” and predicted it would increase firearms-related crimes.

But the study found “a significant decrease in crime incidents involving a firearm for Akron, Columbus, and Toledo, and across all eight cities combined from June 2021 to June 2023.”

The study came amid a rise in homicides in state capital Columbus, but Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost said the permitless carry law was not to blame.

“The mayors of big cities were saying that [gun crime] was going to [increase], they said we were going to have a wild west, and what the data shows is that didn’t happen,” Mr Yost said.

“The key takeaway from this study is that we have to keep the pressure on the criminals who shoot people, rather than Ohioans who responsibly exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Mr Yost also called for more aggressive prosecution of criminals and proactive police in order to further reduce gun crime.

(Ohio Attorney General)

An earlier study found that 480 gang members, about 0.05% of the population, were involved in 46% of homicides in Columbus in 2020.

Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA), said he was not surprised by the study results.

“So-called gun crime is overwhelmingly committed by criminals, those who are prone to break the law and who are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in the first place,” he said.

“The permitless carry bill we championed didn’t change anything for criminals. It simply made it easier for law-abiding residents of Ohio, who are otherwise permitted to carry a firearm with a license, to carry without a licence.”

FBI statistics show there were 648 homicides in Ohio in 2022, 74% of which were committed with a firearm.

57% of offenders were Black/African-American, 27% were White , and 16% were unknown.

At the time of the 2020 census, Ohio was 79.9% White and 14% African-American.

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