Constitutional And Concealed Carry Are Booming

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Across the United States Constitutional and Concealed Carry are gaining favor and acceptance once again. Vermont has been a Constitutional Carry (open or concealed, no permit required) state since our nations founding. Montana joined Vermont in 1991 by passing Constitutional Carry outside city limits and is working to bring it to the city folks as well. However, since Alaska went Constitutional Carry in 2003, followed by Arizona and Wyoming (2010 & 2011), the movement has really picked up momentum. In just the last 2 years SEVEN more states have passed Constitutional Carry.

All 50 states now have at least concealed carry, with Illinois being the last hold out to finally allow concealed carry with a permit. Concealed handgun permits nationwide soared by 1.83 million since last July, setting a record for the fourth consecutive year. This according to an analysis released Thursday by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). That brings the total number of concealed handgun permit holders in the country to 16.3 million, with some of the biggest increases occurring among women and African-Americans,  CPRC said.

Some highlights from the analysis include:

  • Permits are now held by more than 6 percent of American adults. Outside the restrictive states of California and New York, that figure rises to about 8 percent.
  • Permit holders are extremely law abiding. The percent of permit holders who are charged or convicted of a felony has fallen from 0.0123% in 2015 to 0.0092% in 2016.

“In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth the rate at which police officers are convicted,” the CPRC said in a statement.

Murder Rate vs Adults with Carry Permits Image Source: Crime Research Prevention Center

Image Source: Crime Research Prevention Center

  • Women account for 36 percent of the total number of permit holders (based on states that record gender of permit holders). Eight states had data from 2012 to 2016 which showed a 326 percent faster increase in permits among women than among men.
  • States that keep statistics on race and permits showed that from 2012 to 2016, the number of blacks who have permits grew 30 percent faster than whites.

“All states now allow concealed carry,” CPRC President John Lott Jr. said. “And they are all issuing more permits. The longer that concealed carry laws have been in effect, the more time that people have had to apply for and receive permits.”

During the eight years from 1999 to 2007, the number of permits increased by about 240,000 annually. During the next four years, the number of permits surged by 850,000 annually. Then, in 2012 and 2013, the yearly increase accelerated to 1.5 million. Record increases after that: 1.69M in 2015, 1.73M in 2016, and 1.78M in 2017.

States By Percent of Adults with Permits Image Source: Crime Research Prevention Center

Image Source: Crime Research Prevention Center

There is a difference in the issuing of permits between “shall issue” states and “may issue” states. In a “shall issue” state, you apply, you pass the checks, you pay, you get your permit, period. Some state and local authorities display what appears to be racist and sexist biases in deciding who gets concealed handgun permits. These are states that are “may issue” dependent upon local sheriff approval, eminent “need” or other political approval processes.

As of 2012, Hispanics made up almost half the country, but they only got about 6.5 percent of the permits. – John Lott, Crime Prevention Research Center

“There are also significant differences in not only the number of permits issued, but also who gets them, when politicians have discretion in granting them,” Lott said. “Los Angeles County provides a vivid example of how women and Hispanics are given few permits when politicians decided who can defend themselves.”

The CPRC analysis found that carry permits ballooned during the Obama administration, prompted by gun control proposals, magazine limitations, etc. The number of permits grew to more than 16 million while Obama was president, marking a 256 percent increase since 2007.

Interest in obtaining permits has continued even under President Trump, the report said, contrary to the expectation of many experts that it would wane due to less fear of restriction. That coincides with growing support among Americans for the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to “keep and bear arms,” the authors said.

A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center showed 48 percent of respondents saying that a gun “protected them from being crime victims,” and 37 percent thought having one compromised safety. Two years later, Pew found that the percentage of respondents who felt gun ownership was important to staying safe had climbed to 57 percent, while those who felt it did not contribute to safety stayed at about the same, at 38 percent.

“People’s interest in concealed carry has spiked in the wake of recent mass pubic shootings” in the nation as well as overseas, such as in Paris, the report said. Even states with permitless Constitutional Carry have seen a rise in permits issued. Though they are optional, they are still required for reciprocity between states. Talk of National Concealed Carry Reciprocity may also be partially driving the increase in permits. As well as the more than 20 new states currently at various stages of considering permitless Constitutional Carry.

About the Author

Jon Britton
Author, Advocate, Blogger & Zombie Aficionado. Air Force veteran and jack of all trades, with a wide range of experience with many different cultures around the world as well as working alongside both CEOs and average Joes. "Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion." A passion that has taken him in many directions from history to zombies to advocacy to News especially in this day and age of "Fake News" and "Alternative Facts." The Truth Is Out There!

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