There was some bad news Monday morning for Pacific Northwest gun prohibitionists.
Washington State has added more than 44,700 active concealed pistol licenses to the rolls since the first of this year. If the trend continues, the state will be close to topping 600,000 legally armed citizens by the end of December.
By no small coincidence, the Evergreen State is home to both the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation, two national gun rights groups. Both organizations are headquartered in Bellevue.
According to the latest figures from the state Department of Licensing, nearly 8,000 new concealed pistol licenses were issued in Washington State during the month of July. The new DOL figure released Monday morning show 554,320 active Washington CPLs now in circulation. That’s up 7,922 licenses since the agency last released data on July 1, when the count was 546,398.
That’s a monthly average of 6,391 new CPL’s for each of the seven months that have passed so far this year.
Nationally, the number of carry licenses has increased 215 percent since 2007, according to a recent report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). The number of women with carry permits has increased twice as fast as the number of men with permits in states that provide data by gender, CRPC reported. In Washington State, for example, approximately 20 percent of the CPLs are held by women, including King County, which is considered the state’s liberal stronghold with Seattle dominating local politics.
In King County, there are 98,834 active CPLs, of which 20,156 are held by women, the DOL figures revealed.
Washington remains in line with a national trend that has seen a surge in the number of citizens applying for and receiving carry permits and licenses. Various sources suggest that this may be due at least in part to public concern over domestic terrorism. Following the attacks in Paris, San Bernardino and Orlando, interest in gun ownership has risen. Likewise, some sources in the gun rights movement have suggested that another cause for alarm is the prospect of Hillary Clinton being elected president in November. She has a proven anti-gun track record.
The CPRC estimated that there are now more than 14.5 million citizens licensed to carry across the 50 states. Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas each boast more than a million licensed residents, and Indiana has the highest percentage of adults at 15 percent who are licensed to carry.
Arizona reported 278,430 active concealed weapons permits Monday morning. Back on June 26, that state had 273,186 active permits and way back at the end of January, there were 251,680 permits reported.