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(NEWSER) – For years, gun-rights advocates cited a 1997 paper's claim that "allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes." The National Research Council came out with its own take in 2004, saying there was "no credible evidence that 'right-to-carry' laws … either decrease or increase violent crime."

Now researchers from Stanford University have confronted the "vexing task" of extending that data even further, and come to their own conclusion: that right-to-carry (or concealed-carry) laws are actually linked to an increase in violent crimes. The researchers say the strongest evidence concerned aggravated-assault data, which indicates that RTC laws are tied to an 8% increase in such assaults. Stats also seem to link RTC laws with "substantially higher rates" of rape, robbery, and murder.

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