Detroit’s police chief has changed his mind about gun control, believing that if more citizens were armed, criminals would hesitate to attack them.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said responsible gun owners would likely deter crime, the Detroit News reported.
“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference Thursday at police headquarters.
With violent crime down 7 percent in Detroit in 2013, Craig thinks more citizens feel safer.
During his 28-year experience on the Los Angeles police force, Craig tended to favor the state’s gun control over concealed carry permits, believing that less guns means less crimes.
Craig said his stance on guns changed when he left California in 2009 to become the police chief in Portland, Maine.
“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,” he said. “That was my orientation.”
“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”
According to the Detroit News, police have reported 73 justifiable homicides in the city since 2011. Most of the cases involved citizens protecting themselves against criminals.
Even though Craig is for having more legal gun owners, he also pointed out confiscating illegal weapons. He also supports a ban on assault weapons, regulating magazines and ammunition and tighter background checks at gun shows, according to the Huffington Post.
As of last month, about 80,000 total concealed carry permits have been approved in Wayne County, where Detroit is located.