At the Washington Examiner: Concealed carry permits surge to 22 million, 25 states don’t even require it

The Crime Prevention Research Center’s latest annual report on concealed handgun permits was covered extensively at the Washington Examiner today.

The gun craze sparked by the 2016 presidential election, the COVID crisis, and the flurry of random and mass shootings has also led to a record-breaking issuance of concealed carry permits, especially to women and minorities seeking self-protection.

A new and authoritative report put the number of permits held by Americans at 22.01 million. That number was a 2.3% surge over last year, according to John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center.

The new report, provided to Secrets on Thursday, was the first on the issue since the Supreme Court struck down New York’s “may-issue” concealed handgun law in June, signaling that states trying to block getting permits to pack heat will be penalized.

What’s more, even at a historic high of 22 million permits, the number only includes half the nation. The other half has moved swiftly to remove permit restrictions, allowing citizens to carry guns with them, though rules vary by state.

“As more and more states decide not to require permits, the number of people who can legally carry a handgun will increasingly outpace the number of permit holders. The number of people who carry permitted concealed handguns is clearly related to the cost of getting permission. When there is no cost whatsoever, concealed carry becomes very popular,” said the report.

According to available data, Lott’s report found that 8.5% of adults have a carry permit.

Alabama has the highest concealed carry rate — 32.5%. Indiana is second, with 23.4%, and Georgia is third, with 15.5%. The report also said that six states have over 1 million permit holders: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Florida is No. 1 with 2.57 million permits.

Women are getting their permits too, duplicating their purchases of guns, especially since the city riots of 2020 and the coronavirus crisis.

Lott reported that “women made up 29.2% of permit holders in the 15 states that provide data by gender, an increase from the 28.3% last year. Seven states had data from 2012 to 2021/2022, and permit numbers grew 115.4% faster for women than for men.” . . .

Paul Bedard, “Concealed carry permits surge to 22 million, 25 states don’t even require it,” Washington Secrets, November 17, 2022.

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