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Concealed carry applications up, crime down in Chicago

Homicides, robberies, burglaries, and car thefts in Chicago have decreased across the board since last year, according to police reports. That coincides with Illinois becoming the 50th state to start issuing concealed carry permits last year.

The Washington Times reports that "the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city's homicide rate was at a 56-year low."

The Chicago Police Department cites better training and "intelligent policing strategies" as reasons for the lower crime rates, though a spokesman for the Illinois State Rifle Association says the police department "hasn't changed a single tactic" or "announced a shift in policy."

The Times notes that "a July study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans have permits to carry concealed weapons, a 147 percent increase from 4.5 million seven years ago. Meanwhile, homicide and other violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent."

Concealed carry permits cost $600 in Illinois, and require at least 16 hours of training.