A dramatic rise in the number of concealed-carry permits issued in key battleground states since the last presidential election may play a role in deciding who takes the White House in November, a new report by the Crime Prevention Research Center suggests.
Between 2007 and 2015, the number of permits issued across the country increased a staggering 215 percent. Now, more than 14 million Americans have a carry permit—and many of those newly minted permit holders reside in highly contested swing states. Florida and Pennsylvania now contain the highest number of permit holders in America (1.58 million and 1.2 million respectively). Both went to Barack Obama in 2012, as did Ohio (which currently has 549,000 carry permit holders), Michigan (556,136), North Carolina (530,092) and Indiana (728,976).
Many of the new permit holders are women and minorities—two groups who have typically voted for Democrats, but may reconsider this year, given Hillary Clinton’s outspoken anti-gun sentiments and the implications for the future of the U.S. Supreme Court.