Since so many states (48) allow concealed carry and open carry of guns,
doesn’t that mean such practices are not a threat to public safety?
Answer: The facts say that carrying of guns openly or concealed is a serious threat to public safety.
The most complete study of open carry legal gun owners (Note: not “law abiding citizens” but legal gun owners) was performed in 2009 in the State of Indiana. The study shows that many open carriers have extremely violent histories, are dangerous people and use their guns to commit violence and intimidate. (See INDYSTAR.COM October 11, 2009 “Should these Hoosiers have been allowed to carry a gun in public?”)
An ongoing Violence Policy Center study, “CCW Killers,” (http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm) shows that from May 2007 through December 2010, concealed handgun permit holders have killed 273 people (1.5 per week), including 9 law enforcement officers. They have also committed 17 mass shootings and 25 murder-suicides.
Given these facts, the justification that only “legal gun owners” are granted permits to carry a gun concealed, or carry guns openly is faulty. These “legal gun owners” are legal until they use their guns to commit crimes. Therefore, the notion that concealed carry permit holders and open carriers are not a threat to public safety is simply false.