The Washington State Department of Licensing on Friday updated its data on the number of active concealed pistol licenses in the state, reporting a staggering hike of more than 21,000 licenses over the number at the end of August.
This brings the total of active CPLs in the state to 688,440, a remarkable total in a state where voters have adopted two restrictive gun control initiatives since 2014. At the end of August, there were 667,260 active licenses and the Democrat-controlled Legislature had passed a ban on so-called “large capacity” ammunition magazines which took effect July 1. That ban is already being challenged in federal court.
By no surprise, King County—the state’s most populous county encompassing Seattle—reported the largest number of CPLs, at 107,846. This number includes 83,926 licenses held by men and 23,760 by women.
In neighboring Pierce County, where violent crime, including homicide, is surging, there are now 90,395 active CPLs. The number includes 64,677 held by men and 25,540 by women. This is a hike of 5,730 licenses
By comparison, at the end of August, the Licensing agency reported 105,091 active CPLs in King County and 84,665 in Pierce.
At the beginning of this year, Washington reported 639,298 active licenses, which was no small total. For the nine months of 2022, the Evergreen State has added 49,142 more CPLs, which appears to be a reaction to crime in the state’s most populous—and predominantly Democrat/liberal—counties.
According to a recent report at Ammoland, the previous record for a single month spike was set in April 2013, when 13,932 CPLs were issued. For August of this year, the Licensing Department reported a hike of 13,293, falling just short of the record. Now, both totals have been eclipsed, a fact which cannot be good news to the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby.
If the pattern continues, Washington could well see the number of active licenses to top 700,000 before the end of the year.