Concealed Carry in Establishments that Serve Alcohol

I had been thinking about this topic since it came up in July after Gov. Brewer signed the bills. Since the laws take effect tomorrow, it gives me the excuse to think about it again.

If anyone had asked my opinion, which they did not, I would have agreed with Zanzucchi that firearms and alcohol do not mix. It is unfortunate that the State legislature felt that this would be a good idea, but the thing is done. I don't respect the NRA for the same reason I don't respect the ACLU, they both take a good thing too far.

That being said, having considered the topic, I'm not worried about an upswing in drunken altercations involving firearms. The thing is, this law applies only to people who have already completed the process for acquiring a concealed weapons permit. In the State of Arizona, this requires one to take the required training class, be fingerprinted, and have a background check for felony convictions and other prohibitors.

The training class is shorter than it used to be, which is another thing we can thank the NRA for, but at least there is a class that presents both safe gun handling and the the relevant laws one must follow.

This seems like it isn't that much work, but in reality it selects for people with higher than average intelligence, law abidingness, and conscientiousness, which are pretty much what you want in people who are armed. For proof of this, we need only consult the statistics collected by the Concealed Weapons Permit Unit to see that in the last 15 years, 138,348 permits have been issued in the State of Arizona, and 972 have been revoked. That comes to 65 acts per year that result in revocation (mostly conviction of felonies or domestic violence) versus 29.059 violent crimes last year in Arizona (with a population of 6,500,180).

On a per year, per capita basis, that gives us 47 revocable acts per year per 100,000 permit holders versus 447 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2008. That is an order of magnitude difference, pretty darn good in sociology. People who get concealed carry permits are much more law-abiding (and less crazy since that is a disqualifying condition) than other Arizona residents on average. This is clearly a good thing. It would be undeniably better if the rate were even smaller, but this is what we find.