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State rep will host concealed-carry seminar next week in Washington County

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 9:48 a.m.
A Washington County lawmaker will host a Nov. 16, 2017, seminar on Pennsylvania's concealed-carry laws.
Patrick Connolly | For the Tribune-Review
A Washington County lawmaker will host a Nov. 16, 2017, seminar on Pennsylvania's concealed-carry laws.

A Washington County lawmaker will host a Nov. 16 seminar on Pennsylvania's concealed-carry laws.

The seminar will be at 6 p.m. at the California Hill Gun Club in California.

State Rep. Bud Cook, R-Washington/Fayette, said he wants to clear up residents' misconceptions about concealed carry laws.

"Whether you're considering applying for a permit or already have one, this seminar offers a unique opportunity for both prospective and experienced firearm owners to expand their knowledge of existing gun laws and get a better understanding about freely and responsibly exercising your right to keep and bear arms," Cook said in a news release.

Officials from the Pennsylvania State Police, Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Firearms Owners Against Crime group will discuss the concealed-carry process as well as the Castle Doctrine, procedures for obtaining a concealed-carry permit, self-defense, reciprocity laws, hunting regulations and more.

Register for the free seminar by calling 724-669-2242. The gun club is at 150 California Road in California.

The seminar comes on the heels of a Stanford Law School professor's working paper, published this summer, which cites data to support the conclusion that more people carrying firearms does not have a statistical effect on increased safety.

The study , which analyzes crime data from 1977 to 2014, found that states which adopted right-to-carry laws experienced a 13 to 15 percent increase in violent crime in the 10 years after enacting those laws.

The "More Guns, Less Crime" theory was first proposed by economist John Lott in a 1998 book bearing the same title.

Donohue seemed secure in his conclusion.

"For years, the question has been, is there any public safety benefit to right to carry laws? That is now settled," the paper's lead author, John Donohue, told Vice News in its analysis piece on the study . "The answer is no."

A quick Twitter search, however, reveals that not everyone involved in the gun debate agrees:

Below, video of Donohue, the study's lead researcher, discussing the U.S. gun debate:

Below, John Lott, father of the "More Guns, Less Crime" theory, defends his position during the 2008 Intelligence Squared Debate, in which Donohue was also a participant:

Lott's website, the Crime Prevention Research Center, has also offered a response to Donohue's study .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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