As with all of our civil rights, the truly democratic nature of the Second Amendment is that it applies to all Americans. Recent concealed-carry trends across the nation show that Americans of all demographics do, in fact, exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
According to data recently published on John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of concealed carry handgun permits has surged by 34% since 2016, with the current number of permits at nearly 19.5 million.
Actually, the true number of Americans who practice concealed carry is considerably higher. As Lott noted, “Seventeen states no longer provide data on all the people who are legally carrying a concealed handgun because people in those states no longer need a permit to carry.”
In 2020 alone, Lott found that women comprised 26.4% of concealed-carry permit holders in the 14 states that tabulate data by gender. “Seven states had data from 2012 to 2019/2020, and permit numbers grew 101.2% faster for women than for men.”
Interestingly, “Three states that have detailed race and gender data for at least a decade show remarkably larger increases in permits for minorities compared to whites. In Texas, black females saw a 3.9 times greater percentage increase in permits than white males from 2002 to 2019. Oklahoma data from 2002 to 2019 indicated that the increase of licenses approved for Asians and American Indians was more than twice the rate for whites. North Carolina had black permits increase twice as fast as whites from 1996 till 2016.”
These numbers are part of longer-term trends.
“From 2015 to 2019/2020, in the four states that provide data by race over that time period, the number of black people with permits increased almost 55.6% faster than the number of whites with permits. Asians appear to be the group that has experienced the largest increase in permitted concealed carry, growing 62.9% faster than whites.”
Sales of firearms and ammunition have soared in 2020. America’s 1st Freedom previously reported: “Between the beginning of March and the end of June 2020, Americans bought in the neighborhood of 8.3 million guns. Per the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), around 40% of these were sold to first-time buyers.”
As the trade organization for the shooting sports industry, the NSSF tracks the background checks associated with the sale of a firearm based on the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS).
“NSSF-adjusted NICS checks for January through July 2020 is a record 12.1 million, which is up 71.7% from the 7.1 million NSSF-adjusted NICS (checks) January through July 2019. This equates to nearly 5 million first-time gun owners in the first seven months of 2020,” reported the NSSF.
“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of General Counsel. “These first-time buyers represent a group of people who, until now, were agnostic regarding firearm ownership. That’s rapidly changing, and these Americans are taking hold of their God-given right to keep and bear arms and protect themselves and their loved ones.”
NSSF data also determined that 58% of firearm purchases were among African American men and women—the largest increase of any demographic group; women comprised 40% of first-time gun purchasers; retailers noted that they are seeing a 95% increase in firearm sales and a 139% increase in ammunition sales over the same period in 2019.
The number of Americans who want a concealed-carry permit is likely higher than current numbers. As Lott noted, “Last year, 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.”
Even with pandemic-related slowdowns of permit applications, millions of Americans continue to exercise their civil rights protected under the Second Amendment.