Weekend Rewind: More guns & less crime in Florida

More guns & less crime in Florida

Bottom Line: 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 4.6%, or 26,128 crimes, in the 2019 report. Total reported crimes in Florida have declined every year since 2008 and overall arrests are at a 49-year low. That includes improvement all throughout South Florida. Here’s South Florida’s year over year improvement by county: 

  • Broward: down 2.2% overall & lower by 3.3% when adjusted for population
  • Miami-Dade: down 1.7% overall & lower by 2.8% when adjusted for population
  • Palm Beach: down 7.9% overall & lower by 8.8% when adjusted for population

These are meaningful improvements overall, but especially when South Florida’s rising population is considered. While crime continues to decline, the inverse is true with guns. Floridians continue to purchase them 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 overtime. 

According to current state records, a record 2.28 million Floridians have concealed carry permits right now. Over the past year permits have risen by about 184,000 new permitted holders. That’s a near 9% increase in concealed carry permitted holders coinciding with a near 5% drop in crime. It’s record ownership which coincides with a 49-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’s proven for twelve consecutive years, that you can have record gun ownership annually with a subsequent drop in crime in year. And 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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