Impact of Open-Carry Laws: States Without Permit Requirements See Sharp Increase in Gun Deaths!

Gun-related deaths
Gun-related deaths

United States: When states allow gun carriers to exhibit their firearm openly without a permit, gun-related deaths will increase.

Increasingly, people have been dying from open-carry gunshot wounds and suicides in states that have enacted open-carry policies, according to a study of death data from all 50 states that started in 2009.

More about the case

Dr. Jose Diaz, the principal study author and a professor of surgery at the University of South Florida in Tampa, stated, “Our analysis suggests that because of the change in the law, which provides easier access to firearms, we saw an increased firearm suicide rate and total suicide rate,” as US News reported.

He and the research team set up an annual rates table for deaths by firearm, suicide, and homicide from 2013 to 2021. The outcome of the death rate data review given by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was evaluated.

Findings of the study

During the study period,19 states forbade the open carrying of guns or required permits, while five states abolished the laws and allowed citizens to openly carry guns without permits.

By 2013, twenty-six states had already allowed the open carrying of weapons without a permit.

There was a substantial increase in gunshot deaths, more than double, from 33,636 in 2013 to 48,830 in 2021., a shocking 45% increase at the countrywide level.

Less restriction leads to high death rates

Researchers discovered that less restrictive firearm laws increased the rates of deaths caused by firearms.

There was an approximate 57 percent and 18 percent rise in the total suicide rates and suicides involving a firearm, respectively, in the states that have adopted permitless open carry measures, the data revealed.

There is no connection between the gun permit law and the open carry law with homicides.

Diaz stressed that the study does not imply this cause-and-effect relationship and that social isolation, as well as poor mental health experienced during and after the pandemic, may be the ones that influenced the study findings.

Yet, however, these studies support the conclusion of a previous study, which is that the ease of gun ownership leads to the incidences of suicide.

Diaz, in an American College of Surgeons (ACS), said, “Changes in firearm laws have potential repercussions that we do not anticipate,” as US News reported.

The ACS Committee on Trauma is advocating for the passage of legislation that requires the owners to undergo background checks and have separate funding available for research on the prevention of firearm injuries at the federal level.