Detroit Police Chief James Craig praised the benefits of an armed citizenry and explained how his views about concealed carry have evolved during a press conference Thursday.
The Detroit News reports that Craig recounted his experience when he became police chief in Portland, Maine in 2009, after 28 years on the Los Angeles police force.
“Coming from California, where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs [carrying concealed weapon permits], and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation,” he said according to the Detroit News report.
“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed,” he added.
According to Craig, people are more likely to act in self defense with a firearm if they lack confidence in the police department and he cited a seven percent drop in crime last year as a reason he believes more people feel safer in the city.
The Detroit News noted that Craig’s words Thursday were similar to comments he made in December on the Paul W. Smith Show.
“There’s a number of CPL [concealed pistol license] holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine,” he said at the time.
While Craig may think that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens can deter crime, his has expressed support for various forms of gun control in the past, according to The Detroit News, such as an assault weapons ban and tighter restrictions on Internet ammunition sales.
Perhaps bolstering Craig’s pro-lawful-concealed carry contention is a study conducted by Quinnipiac University’s Mark Gius and highlighted recently by Truth Revolt that suggests ”states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states.”
“It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level,” Gius wrote in the study’s abstract.
Also Thursday the Washington Examiner reported that about one in seven Americans polled by Rasmussen Reports said they would feel safer in a neighborhood where people could own a gun for self-defense.