Concealed-Carry Permits See Record Growth in 2017

Over 16 million U.S. citizens currently have a permit to carry a handgun, and the number of women who carry has jumped 93 percent.

These huge numbers don't even reflect the people who carry in states with permitless carry (constitutional carry) laws on the books.
These huge numbers don't even reflect the people who carry in states with permitless carry (constitutional carry) laws on the books.web photo

According to a new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows more Americans than ever have obtained concealed carry permits and in one Pennsylvania county, more than half of all adults are licensed to carry.

The data says that permit applications and issuing has continued to surge this year under the Trump administration, quelling suspicions that a pro-gun president would result in a dramatic downturn in applications, according to this story from washingtonexaminer.com.

The study says a total of 16.36 million people in the U.S. now possess CCW permits, with a record 1.83 million approved last year. That amounts to 6.53 percent of all American adults with a carry permit.

Among them, women and minorities are also obtaining CCW permits in record numbers. Only some states break down concealed-carry data based on gender and race—of those, the report says the number of permits granted to women jumped 93 percent in recent years, and black women are getting them at a rate of 30 percent higher than white women.

In 2016, women made up 36% of permit holders in the 14 states that provide data by gender. Eight states had data from 2012 to 2016 and they saw a 326% faster increase in permits among women than among men.

The study also says these numbers don't reflect the true number of U.S. citizens with carry permits, because there are 14 states that do not require a permit to carry concealed, such as Arizona, Wyoming, and Maine.

"The two things that stand out in this year's report is the huge increase in permits for women and minorities as well as how extremely law-abiding the over 16.3 million permit holders continue to be," John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said in the story.

Of the states that require permits, Alabama has the highest rate at 20 percent. The aforementioned Potter County in north central Pennsylvania is the top county in the country with 50.3 percent of adults carrying.

In fact, Pennsylvania has four counties with between 30 and 50 percent of the adult population with concealed-carry permits.