More Guns Equal Less Crime In Florida

Mark O'Connor fills out his Federal background check paperwork as he purchases a handgun at the K&W Gunworks store

Photo: Getty Images

Florida’s annual Uniform Crime Report was recently released and the news continued the trend of lower crime, including in South Florida. Crime in Florida declined by 14% in the 2020 report. Total reported crimes in Florida have declined annually since 2008 and overall arrests are at a 50-year low. That includes improvement all throughout South Florida. These are meaningful improvements overall, but especially when Florida’s rising population is considered. While crime continues to decline, the inverse is true with guns. Floridians continue to purchase guns in record numbers. It’s not possible to know total gun ownership within Florida, as guns aren’t legally required to be registered, but concealed carry permits within our state are tracked and offer insight into ownership levels over time. 

According to current state records, a record 2.38 million Floridians have concealed carry permits right now. That’s 100,000 more Floridians obtaining a permit over the past year. Permits have risen by 4.4% year over year which has corresponded with a 14% drop in crime. That record ownership coincides with a 50-year low in arrests. Additionally, there’s been an increase in concealed carry permits every year in Florida since the streak of lower crime began in 2008. Coincidence? It may or may not be, but one fact is evidenced. Legal gun ownership doesn’t equal more crime. In fact, Florida has proven that for 13 consecutive years. This is very much part of the South Florida story as well. Miami-Dade is first for concealed carry permits, following by Broward with Palm Beach County fourth in Florida.

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