Have Gun? Will Travel

Criminals are afraid to arm themselves in a Virginia city that simply enforced the law

Not long ago, Edward sold crack cocaine for a living. He considered himself a businessman and made businesslike calculations of risk and reward. He was afraid rival dealers might try to rob him of his drugs or the wad of cash in his wallet. So he carried a 9-mm handgun. "Everybody had a gun," he says, "for defense." But now he has a bigger fear: if he gets caught with a weapon while committing a crime in his hometown of Richmond, Va., he faces at least five years without parole in a distant federal prison. That's why Edward, 25, doesn't pack...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!