1. Right to Carry distinguishes between the law abiding and the lawless. There is a profound difference between a citizen legally exercising the constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self protection, and a hoodlum who packs a gun to prey on the next victim. Under current Missouri law, the two cannot legally be distinguished. Current statutes lack any means for law-abiding citizens to discretely carry defensive firearms legally regardless of the threat they face or the justification for their need to carry. HB1891, the "Personal Safety" law we will vote on April 6, would provide a lawful system for qualified, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.

2. Right To Carry provides an effective, non-violent deterrent to crime. The evidence that proves the strong deterrent right-to-carry laws have against violent crime is factual and growing rapidly. Criminals are much less likely to car-jack, mug, rape or rob, if they are uncertain whether the victim might be armed. HB1891 would remove the criminal's guarantee that the next rape, murder or robbery victim is required by law to be defenseless.

3. Right to Carry would make Missouri safer for everyone. States with right to carry laws have lower crime rates than states without carry laws. According to FBI crime statistics:
Violent crime is 18 percent lower. Homicide is 21 percent lower. Robbery is 32 percent lower.

4. Right to Carry reduces crime. States that approve right to carry experience a significant decline in violent crime rates after the right to carry laws take effect. According to FBI crime statistics states implementing right to carry experience:
An 8 percent drop in murder rates
A 7 percent drop in aggravated assaults
A 5 percent drop in rapes
A 4.9 percent drop in all violent crime
A 2.2 percent decline in robberies.

5. Right to Carry clarifies firearms laws for law enforcement officials. Right now, EVEN POLICE lack clear statutory authorization to carry their firearms off duty or beyond their jurisdiction. This ability is referenced only by an attorney general's opinion regarding a 1997 law that expanded arrest powers for certified police statewide. Right to carry guarantees by statute that police officers can legally carry on or off duty, within or beyond their jurisdiction without a permit.

6. Right to Carry is right for everyone EXCEPT criminals. A Department of Justice survey found that 40 percent of felons chose not to commit at least some crimes for fear their victims were armed, and 34 percent admitted to being scared off by armed victims.

7. Law abiding citizens use guns to stop crime 4 times more often than criminals use guns to commit crimes. Survey research by criminologist Gary Kleck indicates there are as many as 2.5 million protective uses of firearms each year in the U.S., more than four times the reported number of violent crimes committed with firearms.

8. Most right to carry defenses are successful without discharging a firearm. Most protective uses of firearms DO NOT involve discharging a firearm. In only 1 percent (One in a hundred) of such cases are criminals wounded. In only about 0.1 percent (One in a thousand) of incidents of defensive gun uses are criminals killed.

9. Right to carry would bring Missouri into the overwhelming majority of other states that have some form of carry laws for citizens. Missouri is one of only SEVEN states that doesn't allow some form of discrete carry. It is easier to get a gun permit in New York City than in Jefferson City. Florida and many other states will issue concealed firearms permits to Missouri citizens, but Missouri will not.

10. Right to carry most helps women and older citizens. Because women and senior citizens are more likely to be victimized by violent criminals, they will receive the greatest benefit from the violent crime reduction that occurs when right to carry laws are adopted in a state.


"I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't happened. All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I'm a convert." -- Glenn White, President of the Dallas Police Association, Dallas Morning News, December 23, 1997.

"The preponderance of the evidence suggests that the vast majority (of permit holders) act responsibly." -- State Sen. Jerry Patterson, R-Pasadena, author of Texas' firearm carry law.

"To set the record straight... The process is working... The statistics show a majority of concealed firearms or firearm licensees are honest, law-abiding citizens exercising their right to be armed for the purpose of lawful self defense.---- Sandra B. Mortham, Florida Secretary of State.

"Allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. If those states which did not have right to carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly." -- Professor John R. Lott, Jr., and David B. Mustard, University of Chicago.

"From a law enforcement perspective, the licensing process has not resulted in problems in the community from people arming themselves with concealed weapons." -- Commissioner James T. Moore, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Memo to the Governor, 3/15/95.

"As we have seen in other states and had predicted would occur in Texas, all the fears of the naysayers have not come to fruition. A lot of critics argued that the law-abiding citizens couldn't be trusted... But the facts do speak for themselves. None of these horror stories have materialized." -- Sheriff David Williams, Tarrant County, TX, Fort Worth Telegram, 7/17/96.

"Some of the public safety concerns which we imagined or anticipated a couple of years ago, to our pleasant surprise, have been unfounded or mitigated." -- Fairfax County VA Police Major Bill Brown, The Alexandria Journal, 7/9/97.

"I was wrong. But I'm glad to say I was wrong." -- Arlington County VA Police Detective Paul Larson, previously an opponent of Right to Carry, The Alexandria Journal, 7/9/97.

"Virginia has not turned into Dodge City. We have not seen a problem." -- Virginia Public Safety Secretary Jerry Kilgore, The Fredricksburg Freelance Star, 2/2/96.

"The concerns I had - with more guns on the street, folks may be more apt to square off against one another with weapons - we haven't experienced that." -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg NC Police Chief Dennis Nowicki, The News and Observer, 11/24/97.

"The facts are in and the record is clear: Right to Carry gives law enforcement, their families and our communities real protection from violent criminals." -- James J. Fotis, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Alliance of America.

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