An estimated 15 million Americans are now licensed to carry, according to a story in Monday’s Washington Examiner, quoting John R. Lott, Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Liberty Park Press spoke with Lott briefly Monday and confirmed the estimate. In a report released earlier this year, Lott had put the number of legally-packing Americans at 14.5 million, and in the ensuing months, that number has gone up, he suggested.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to bear that out. Two examples are Washington and Arizona, where data within the past week shows more than 6,000 new licenses in circulation in the Evergreen State during just the month of November. In Arizona, more than 10,000 new licenses have been issued between mid-September and this past Sunday, according to the latest update from that state’s Department of Public Safety.
Lott’s updated estimate comes coincidentally with Monday’s publication of an opinion piece in the Tulsa World from Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and this writer. That piece outlined 11 positive gun reforms that Donald Trump and his Republican majority on Capitol Hill could adopt after he takes office next month.
Among them is this gem:
Implement national concealed carry reciprocity. Legally-licensed Americans who have already gone through the background checks in their home states must be treated like the first-class citizens they are. We do not leave our right of self-defense at the state border.”
Some in the Second Amendment community would delight in having “Constitutional carry” – no license required – everywhere in the country. Some states have already adopted statutes that allow permitless carry, and activists will be pushing the idea in more states when legislatures start convening in January.
Other recommendations on the list include legalizing silencers and short-barreled rifles, and upgrading the National Instant Check System.
First and foremost, Second Amendment activists expect Trump to make good on his promise to nominate a strong constitutionalist to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia earlier this year. He should also nominate constitutionalist judges to the lower federal courts.
What may be required to get these things done is for the millions of gun owners who put Trump in the White House and put Republicans in control of the House and Senate to start lobbying now.