DETROIT, MICHIGAN — Detroit is no stranger to violent crime. With an estimated population of 680,000 residents, the police are seeing a surge in applications for handgun permits and newly registered guns. In 2015, alone, Fox News reported that 500 permits have been issued so far and 5,000 firearms registered. This continues an upward tick from 2014, which saw 1,160 more handgun permits being issued and over 8,000 guns registered.
One concealed carrier, Darrell Standberry, 46, recalled for Fox News his harrowing usage of his registered firearm in an incident that took place in 2011. In that incident, his vehicle was stolen and the thief attempted to run him down. He used his Sig Sauer chambered in .45 ACP to subdue his attacker with lethal force.
Since recalling the harrowing tale, Standberry has also vowed never to leave home without his firearm. And he says this effect has taken root in other residents of the Motor City.
“Home invasions have gone down,” he said. “A huge reason was that there was a huge spate of homeowners using their guns against intruders. More people have guns and it’s making burglars cautious.”
And least surprising of all, women are coming out in record droves to get their handgun permits. In Detroit, Rick Ector – a firearms instructor and blogger for Legally Armed in Detroit – reported that he’s seen more women attending concealed carry classes in the area.
“It used to be that we would only have one or two women in a class,” he said. “Now we are seeing much, much more. This past May, I held a class where we trained 300 ladies.”
Ector describes this trend as the “Chief Craig” effect. In 2013, Chief Craig identified gun ownership by residents as one means to reduce overall violent crime in Detroit. And Chief Craig is not at all shy about admitting that – in 2014, he received numerous death threats from narcotics gangs due to his policies of making the streets more dangerous for criminals.
The war for the streets of Detroit has been, for the longest time, waged by criminals and only partially thwarted by the undermanned police force. Why not encourage residents to even the odds a bit by legally allowing and encouraging them to carry?