Armed citizens – people who regularly carry concealed sidearms for personal protection and are licensed to do so – are among the most law-abiding groups in the country, according to a recent report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC).
And, according to the report, there are now more than 14.5 million such citizens across the 50 states and that number is rising more rapidly now than ever before. Last year, the number of legally-licensed armed citizens increased by 1.73 million, which surpassed the previous year’s 1.69 million record of new licenses and permits.
While Conservative Firing Line revealed some findings of this report last month, this new revelation about the low number of legally-armed citizens involved in criminal activity opens an entirely new area of discussion. Gun control proponents have, for years, argued that more guns in private hands translates to more violent crime. That hasn’t happened. According to FBI Uniform Crime Reports, homicides have declined over the past several years, and firearms are involved in a shrinking number of killings.
As noted by a report in The Daily Signal:
“From 2007 through 2015, permits issued by state and local governments increased by 215 percent, to more than 14 million Americans, according to the data.
“The study compared permit holders to police, who committed 703 crimes from 2005 to 2007, and 113 of those were firearm violations.”
One state that is actually seeing a decline in the number of permits is Kansas, where it is now legal to carry without a license. Called “Constitutional Carry,” this is something of a new phenomenon that has swept across a handful of states including Alaska, Maine and Arizona. In total, 11 states no longer require permits to carry in all or most parts of their jurisdictions.
That doesn’t mean interest has declined in taking training courses, however. The McPherson Sentinel reported that in McPherson, demand for classes is strong because people want education when they carry.
According to the CPRC report, approximately 6.06 percent of the total adult population in the U.S. is licensed to carry. In ten states, more than 10 percent of the population is licensed, with Indiana ranking the highest per capita number at 15 percent.
Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas each report more than a million active carry licenses.