Crime and Courts: Study draws link between gun carriers and risky behavior

2011-06-21T12:44:00Z 2012-05-22T17:49:01Z Crime and Courts: Study draws link between gun carriers and risky behaviorSTEVEN ELBOW | The Capital Times | selbow@madison.com madison.com

As Wisconsin heads toward lifting a ban on carrying concealed weapons, researchers at the University of California-Davis have turned up some unsettling information about those who may take advantage of the law.

In a study using 15-year-old data -- the most recent available  -- published online in the journal Injury Prevention, the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program says those who carried concealed weapons or who had confronted someone with a gun were twice as likely to be heavy drinkers than non-gun owners. Gun owners who drove with loaded weapons were four times more likely to hop behind the wheel after drinking "perhaps too much," and those who didn't travel with a gun were twice as likely to drink and drive.

The study, released last week, came up with these conclusions by analyzing telephone survey results from 15,000 people in eight states. It comes as Wisconsin heads toward adoption of its own concealed carry law, which will make it the 49th state to legalize carrying loaded, concealed firearms, much to the consternation of some local officials.

The Senate passed the controversial proposal last week, and the Assembly was slated to take it up today.

Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill.

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