More than 17 million Americans are now licensed to carry concealed across the United States, according to an updated report from the Crime Prevention Research Center, headed by author and researcher Dr. John Lott.
Lott is the author of several books on gun control and statistics, and his Center publishes the concealed carry report annually in late summer. In remarks to Fox News, Lott observed, “We have seen an increase from 4.6 million permits in 2007 to 17.25 million now, with the number increasing every year. It seems very likely that we will continue seeing an increase next year.”
The report goes from the high to the low in a state-by-state analysis of per capita carry permits per population. Alabama holds the lead at 22.11 percent of the adult population licensed to pack a gun. Wyoming is midway on the chart with 7.7 percent of the population packing and at the bottom is Hawaii, where there are apparently no carry permits at all.
Less than one percent of New York state residents have permits, and in California, less than a half-percent are legally licensed. The Top 15 states are, in this order, Alabama, Indiana, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Iowa, Utah, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, Florida, Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma.
Lott had an interesting observation about why some states seem to have been slowing down in the number of carry permits or licenses. In those states, more than 10 percent of eligible adults have carry permits, and that’s an increase from 11 states in 2017.
There are now four states with more than one million permit holders each: Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas, the CPRC reported.
“The states that we have seen a slowing of permits have primarily been these Constitutional Carry states where a permit is no longer required,” he told Fox News. “Indeed some of those states have even seen a drop in the number of permits even though the number of people carrying in those places has undoubtedly gone up.”
In his report, Lott noted that last year, “despite the common perception that growth in the number of permit holders would stop after the 2016 election, the number of permits grew by about 890,000.”
He also estimated that outside of restrictive states (California and New York), “about 8.63% of the adult population has a permit.”
There was one other important tidbit in Lott’s report. Active permits continue to grow more among women and minorities. “Between 2012 and 2018,” the CPRC revealed, “the percent of women with permits grew 111% faster for women and the percent of blacks with permits grew 20% faster than for whites. Permits for Asians grew 29% faster than for whites.”
This will likely be discussed at length next month when the Gun Rights Policy Conference convenes in Chicago. Get the details here.