The CPRC has just issued our newest annual report on the number of concealed handgun permits in the US. A copy of the report is available for download here. Some updated numbers are shown at the bottom of this post. Past reports can be viewed here. Part of the executive summary is shown here:
During President Obama’s administration, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to over 16.36 million – a 256% increase since 2007. Unlike surveys that may be affected by people’s unwillingness to answer some personal questions, concealed handgun permit data is the only really “hard data” that we have on gun ownership across the United States. Among the findings of our report:
- Last year, the number of permit holders grew by a record 1.83 million. This is more than the previous record increase of 1.73 million, set just the year before. Each of the last four years that we have been recording this data has set a new record. Despite expectations that permits were primarily driven by fears of Democratic presidencies, the growth in permits has continued at a similar pace after the November 2016 election.
- 6.53% of American adults have permits. Outside the restrictive states of California and New York, about 8% of the adult population has a permit.
- In eleven states, more than 10% of adults have permits. Alabama has the highest rate — 20%. Indiana is second with 15.8%.
- There are four counties in Pennsylvania that have between 30% and 50% of their adult populations with concealed handgun permits: Potter (50.3%), McKean (34.6%), Warren (34.6%), Cameron (31.3%), and Armstrong (30.1%).
- Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas each have over 1.2 million residents who are active permit holders.
- Another 14 states have adopted constitutional carry in all or virtually all of their state, meaning that a permit is no longer required. Some people in these states still choose to obtain permits so that they can carry in other states that have reciprocity agreements with their states. However, because of these constitutional carry states, the nationwide growth in permits does not paint a full picture of the overall increase in concealed carry.
- In 2016, women made up 36% of permit holders in the 14 states that provide data by gender. Eight states had data from 2012 to 2016 and they saw a 326% faster increase in permits among women than among men.
- From 2012 to 2016, in the five states that provide data by race over that time period, the number of black people with permits increased 30% faster than the number of whites with permits. Asians appear to be the group that has experienced the largest increase in permitted concealed carry.
- Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted. . . .
The rest of the report with many other interesting findings is available here.