In the so-called Gunshine State, home to the most gun permits in the country, firearm violence has fallen to the lowest point on record.
As state and national lawmakers consider gun-control laws in the wake of last month's Connecticut school shooting, Florida finds itself in a gun-violence depression. The firearm-involved violent crime rate has dropped 33 percent between 2007 and 2011 while the number of concealed weapons permits rose nearly 90 percent during that time, state records show.
Mirroring the 33 percent decline in gun violence since 2007, the violent crime rate also dropped 26 percent during that time, which could suggest other factors at play in causing fewer criminal acts.
"It's difficult to attach gun control to the reduction of crime and vice versa," said Arthur Hayhoe, executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. "We don't know what works. We can't prove that gun control works because we don't have gun-control laws."