Yet another record has been broken by Washington State citizens applying for and receiving concealed pistol licenses, bringing the number to 694,904 active CPLs at the end of October.
According to data from the state Department of Licensing, October saw more than 6,400 new licenses added to the number. Last month, the number of active licenses hit 688,440. At the time, Liberty Park Press reported how September saw more than 21,000 new CPLs added to the rolls, a new record for the number of licenses issued in a single month. The previous record was 13,932 set in April 2013.
The October data was first reported at Ammoland News Wednesday.
It is a stunning number of active licenses, considering that Washington is the smallest western state, but it has the second-largest population of any state in the West. More than 7 million people live in the state, and right now, roughly one in every nine qualified adults is licensed to carry. If the pace keeps up, the Evergreen State could easily surpass the 700,000 mark by Dec. 31.
Washington is one of the original “shall issue” states, with a statute dating back to 1935. It has always been an open carry state, as the state constitution contains a strong right-to-bear-arms provision that was copied word-for-word in the Arizona constitution when Arizona achieved statehood in 1912. Washington has been a state since November 1889.
In King County, which encompasses Seattle, the number of active CPLs reached 109,561. That’s up 1,715 licenses from last month at this time. In neighboring Snohomish County, there are now 75,600 active licenses, and in Pierce County there are 91,323 licenses. Spokane County reported 49,310 CPLs and Thurston County, which encompasses Olympia and the state capitol, there are 36,005 licenses.
This may surprise many people because all of those counties except for Spokane are considered Democrat/liberal strongholds where anti-gun sentiments often run high.
Seattle is headquarters to the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility gun prohibition lobbying group.