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Politics & Government

Detroit police chief: armed citizens could have prevented Paris attacks

James Craig, Detroit police chief, says terrorist attacks would not occur in Detroit because of armed citizens.
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James Craig, Detroit police chief, says terrorist attacks would not occur in Detroit because of armed citizens.

Detroit police chief James Craig said the casualties following the terrorist attacks in Paris — resulting in more than 100 deaths — would not have occurred had the citizens been armed.

"A lot of Detroiters have (concealed pistol licenses), and the same rules apply to terrorists as they do to some gun-toting thug," Chief James Craig told The Detroit News. "If you're a terrorist, or a carjacker, you want unarmed citizens."

The Detroit News also spoke with Oakland University criminal justice professor Daniel Kennedy, who agreed more personal firearms could curb future terrorist attacks: 

"An armed citizen won't give them a high body count. Look at the theater in Paris (theBataclanCafé, where four men with AK-47 assault rifles killed 89 people during a rock concert). If some of those people had been armed, it would've been a much different story."

Craig has been a staunch defender of concealed carry weapons during his tenure as police chief. In August, Craig went on Fox News to attribute Detroit's drop in crime to an increase in handgun permits and personal firearms registered in the city.

During the interview, Craig said in a survey of 1,800 felons, the respondents said they were most afraid of "armed citizens."

According to Michigan State Police, more than 30,000 Detroit residents are legally armed. In 2014, Detroit residents were issued 1,169 handgun permits and registered 8,000 guns with the police department. The number of concealed-pistol licenses issued to residents in 2013, the year Craig became police chief, were double the amount issued in 2009.

— Allana Akhtar, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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