The U.S. House of Representatives last December passed a bill that would mandate “concealed carry reciprocity,” requiring states to honor concealed carry permits issued to gun owners in other states. Proponents of the bill say carrying a concealed handgun in public has the potential to enable would-be victims of violent crime to protect themselves by thwarting attempted acts of violence.

But is their assertion true? A policy brief from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Bloomberg American Health Initiative and Center for Gun Policy Research looks at the facts and research about concealed carry laws and the potential safety benefit of concealed guns.

Among the authors’ findings about right-to-carry laws and civilian gun use:

  • In right-to-carry states, many people with criminal histories may legally carry concealed guns.

  • Right-to-carry laws appear to increase violent crime.

  • National Crime Victimization Survey Data indicate no clear safety benefit to using a gun in self-defense during a criminal attack.

  • Most gun owners want higher safety standards for civilians who carry concealed firearms and oppose gun carrying on college campuses and in places of worship, government buildings, schools, bars and sports stadiums.

Read more: “Concealed Carry of Firearms: Fact vs. Fiction.”