Over 21 Million Americans Now Carry Concealed

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posted on October 8, 2021
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As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association V. Bruen on November 3—a case in which the justices are poised to answer whether the Second Amendment protects a right for law-abiding citizens to carry firearms outside their homes (this is the “bear” in the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms”)—the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) is reporting that the number of Americans with concealed-carry permits has reached 21.52 million.

This, says CPRC, is “a 48% increase since 2016. It’s also a 10.5% increase over the number of permits we counted a year ago in 2020.”

Incredibly, this increase took place even though the number of states with some form of constitutional carry increased to 21 this year. As these 21 states no longer require permits, they no longer have precise data on exactly how many people are legally carrying concealed.

These new numbers were gathered by John R. Lott, Jr. and Rujun Wang, and published in a report titled “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2021.”

It is further evidence that Americans are exercising this critical constitutional right. With over 100 million gun owners in America, and now with over 20 million Americans with concealed-carry permits (and perhaps millions more carrying in the 21 constitutional-carry states), attorneys representing New York in this critical U.S. Supreme Court case can’t honestly argue that citizens don’t want and need this particular constitutional freedom. Americans are clearly saying they want and need this right.

So, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association V. Bruen, the justices will answer the fundamental question: “Whether the State’s [New York] denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

The answer should unequivocally be “yes, New York is violating citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”

For more, read the New York State Rifle & Pistols Association’s (NYSRPA is the NRA official state affiliate in New York) brief on this case. It is clear that the Second Amendment, as articulated in Heller and applied to state and local governments in McDonald, does restrict government from infringing on American citizens’ individual right to keep and bear arms inside and outside the home.

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