New Numbers on Our Concealed-Carry Nation

posted on November 20, 2020

There are now more than 19.48 million citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in America, and that’s not counting the millions who carry in the 16-plus states—depending on how you count them—that have some type of constitutional carry, where a permit is not required if you are a law-abiding citizen. This new and steadily rising number is from research done by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), and its updated report shows a 34% increase in concealed carry since 2016.

“Last year,” the report says, “the number of permit holders continued to grow by about 820,000. At 4.4% growth over 2019, that is the slowest percent and absolute increase that we have seen since we started collecting this data in 2011, but part of that is due to many states not issuing concealed handgun permits during the coronavirus pandemic.”

According to this data, which was compiled by John R. Lott, the president and founder of the CPRC, 7.6% of American adults now have a carry permit. When you eliminate the most-restrictive states, such as New York and California, this number jumps to 9.2%. Also, five states now have more than 1 million carry permit holders: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas. Florida has over 2 million permit holders.

Alabama has the highest percentage of permits at 28.5%; Indiana comes in second at 18.7%. Fourteen states have “more than 10% of adults” with permits. Those states are Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.

Last, but hardly an afterthought, here’s another telling number: Women make up 26.4% of permit holders in the 14 states that provide data by gender, according to the CPRC.


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