Today, on twitter, Charles C. W. Cooke tweeted this…
In Texas, blacks, Asians, and Native Americans are obtaining carry permits at a faster rate than whites. https://t.co/5Psm4wsmua
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) August 2, 2016
In this tweet thread, he attributed this trend with the lower costs of the class required to obtain a Texas License to Carry a Handgun resulting from the reduced class requirements released in January.
This sparked a mini debate. I submitted that correlation does not necessarily equate to causation. This is reasoning he has used before to his credit.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Charles and agree with him way more than not. Charles is a misplaced Brit…lol. I actually wouldn’t say misplaced. He moved to the States from Britain and has embraced our Constitutional Republic much better than even the average joe who was born here.
In this instance, I agree with him that this trend is a good thing. I just disagree with his reasoning as to the cause.
His reasoning is as follows:
shorter mandated class time required to obtain the license -> lower cost of the class due to the reduced class time -> more people in the lower income brackets taking the classes and obtaining the licenses
I think that the reduction in class requirements just took effect during the same rough timeframe as the rise in minority applications.
There has been a greater demand across the board for handgun licenses in Texas. We have gone from somewhere around 850,000 licensees to over 1,000,000 in about a six month period between mid Fall 2015 and mid Spring 2016.
The changes in requirements are as follows:
- Class time reduced to four hours maximum plus however long the range portion takes from previous mandated 6-8 hours total time.
- A section of class time devoted to open carry that went into effect January 1st that was not previously part of the course.
Charles equated the fact that the class doesn’t take as long, to the lowering of the cost of the classes. I disagree. Initially, there was no reduction in class cost once the reduction in class time took effect. If you sold milk and got a cheaper price on the jug, why lower your retail cost if the going rate is accepted by the consumer? It doesn’t make sense to lower the cost for you class for the same product unless other commercial forces come into effect.
Even if that were the case, I have only seen a reduction in class cost of roughly $25-50. That is, at best, a 20% reduction in overall cost. MAYBE $240 out the door as opposed to $275. I wouldn’t think that that is enough to spur ‘lower income bracket’ folks to run and get a license.
Around here, it will probably cost you about the following:
- $75 for the class
- $15 for the box of ammunition required for the shooting portion
- $140 application fee to the state
- $10 for the required fingerprints
So, what other commercial forces came into effect? The sheer number of folks wanting to take the classes required more instructors to teach the classes…more instructors vying for the attendees spurred competitive pricing. This is my evaluation.
I believe more interest in the classes caused the lowering of the class costs as opposed to the other way around.
What spurred the sudden increase in applications? A number of factors really. Let’s start with a minor one. Open Carry.
Open Carry laws went into effect January 1st, 2016. The same license covers both open and concealed carry. I believe there were folks that got the license because of the open carry laws. Not a major factor but a factor none the less.
The major factor, in my opinion, is the news…lol. Seriously. Folk see all the craziness happening all the time. Is it happening more than before? Not really but we HEAR about it more. If society as a whole starts to think that they need to be better able to defend themselves, how much more would the ‘marginalized’ demographics think this way?
I always say that it is the police’s responsibility to draw the chalk outline…it is your responsibility to make sure it is not YOUR outline. Is this a trend leading back to more personal responsibility? One can only hope.
The stats that sparked Charles’ comments were results published by John Lott.
(click on the image to see a larger version)
Statistics show that a shade over 6% of the adult population currently have handgun licenses. This figure is skewed by the fact that some states don’t require a license.
But the rate of increase by minorities and women is greater than that of white males. Looks like demographics that, previously, were not ‘gun folks’ are becoming that more and more. I really like this actually. The more, the merrier I say. The term ‘law-abiding citizen’ cannot and should not be laid claim on by ANY particular demographic or collection thereof by race, color, creed, etc.
Let’s all work together to prove to everyone else that the guns are not the problem, They are simply one choice of tool. Lol…if you can do it safely, take an ‘anti’ shooting! But we can all be ambassadors. If someone is interested in guns, let them know you are available for whatever you can help them with.
Y’all stay safe and keep a round in the chamber…