The number of concealed-carry permits issued to Indiana residents has risen nearly 50 percent since 2012, according to IndyStar. In the first three months of this year, Indiana issued over 50,000 permits—more than half the total number issued in all of 2015. The state now has the highest percentage of carry permit-holders in the nation, the Crime Prevention Research Center reported in July, a number bolstered by a 90-percent increase in female permit-holders between 2012 and 2016.
Stark differences appear when examining permit rates by county. Urban areas and college towns tend to have the fewest permit-holders—Monroe County, home of Indiana University, ranks last, with only 7 percent licensed to carry. Brown County, the state’s least-densely populated, has the most permit-holders per capita, at 20 percent.
The runner-up, with 19 percent, is Morgan County, where Sheriff Robert Downey says his constituents are conservative and increasingly willing to take responsibility for their own safety. As law-enforcement officers in a sparsely populated county, “We may be 15 to 20 minutes away in the worst-case scenario,” he said.