Gun Owners End 2023 Proving Gun Control Advocates Wrong

by Amy Swearer at

As 2023 drew to a close, millions of peaceable Americans geared up for a new year that will bring with it many new limitations on their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

In California, for example, Jan. 1 was the date to ring in the state’s plethora of new restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in public, courtesy of SB 2, a law passed in the wake of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen to punish concealed carry permit holders for having their rights vindicated by the Supreme Court.

This legislation spitefully limits the scope of lawful concealed carry to little more than empty public sidewalks, in effect telling ordinary Californians that while they can now obtain a concealed carry permit, those permits are functionally useless.

In Illinois, meanwhile, the new year brought with it the deadline for registering so-called assault weapons with the government—the final act of the state’s ban on new purchases of some of the nation’s most commonly owned semi-automatic firearms.

Despite these onerous new gun control laws and many others like them, in December, ordinary gun owners around the country were busy proving to gun control activists just how much their new restrictions miss the mark. Overwhelmingly, lawful gun owners are not the driving force behind criminal gun violence. On the contrary, as the stories below show, they are often their own best (or only) defense against criminal actors who are rarely deterred by restrictive gun laws.

Almost every major study has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged. In 2021, the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the issue concluded that roughly 1.6 million defensive gun uses occur in the United States every year.