Soaring CCW: Eleven states top 10% carry; more women carry

Concealed carry is expanding across USA. (Dave Workman)

Concealed carry numbers are continuing to climb across the country, and in 11 states, more than ten percent of the adult population is licensed to carry, according to a new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC).

The 61 page report, titled “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2017,” identifies those states as Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Utah.


UPDATE: The Virginia Citizens Defense League has a petition to support the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity (HR 38) bill on the White House website. It must collect 100,000 signatures by Aug. 17.


About 4 million permit holders are in just 14 states representing all regions of the country, according to the report. In states that keep data on the gender of permit holders and the CPRC report says women “women averaged 36% of permit holders.”

The CPRC report is loaded with data, and there is an indication that increased concealed carry from 2007 through 2015 coincided with a decline in the national murder rate, from 5.6 to 4.9 per 100,000 population. The report notes that 2015 is the last full year for which crime data is available.

Compare this to a story published by the Daily Mail concerning crime in the United Kingdom. According to that publication, “A rise in violent crimes and knife possession means police have recorded the largest annual rise in crime in a decade, with nearly five million offences over the year to March.

“New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of crimes in England and Wales has risen by 10 per cent compared with the same period in 2015/16,” the story added.

The CPRC report, prepared by researcher and author John Lott, who founded the organization, noted the following:

All of these states experienced a general upward trend in female permit holders.

■ Arizona: the percentage of permit holders who are women rose from 20.7% in 2012 to 21.2% in 2016 and 21.9% in 2017.

■ Connecticut: from 24.3% in 2012 to 33.3% in 2016.

■ Florida: from 18% in May 2012 to 24.1% in May 2016 and 24.1% in May 2017.

■ Indiana: from 18.0% in June 2012 to 23.9% in June 2016 and 26.1% in March 2017.

■ Louisiana: from 18.3% in 2009 to 24.1% in 2016.

■ North Carolina: from 21.3% in June 2012 to 27.5% in June 2016 to 28.7% in March 2017.

■ North Dakota: from 11.2% in 2010 to 24.9% in 2014.

■ Oklahoma: from 28.9% in 2012 to 36.3% in 2016.

■ Tennessee: from 25.9% in 2012 to 34.3% in 2016.

■ Texas: from 22.00% in 2012 to 28.0% in 2016.

■ Washington State: between 2005 and 2014, “the growth rate for women getting new permits [was] twice as fast as that of men.” We don’t know the exact percentages in those two years, but by 2017, women held 25.2% of permits.

This new data could provide momentum for supporters of national concealed carry reciprocity legislation now waiting for action on Capitol Hill. The June attack on Republican congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia could also spur some debate because, as the report notes, “at least five of the congressmen and one aide had concealed handgun permits in their home states.”

“However,” the CPRC report observes, “District of Columbia gun regulations prevented them from carrying their guns. Even though Virginia honors permits from all other states, it would be a crime to carry one’s gun while traveling to and from DC. At least two of the permit holders believe that they could have ended the attack much sooner if they had been armed.”

With Congress seemingly in chaos over health care and Russia, it may take some prodding by Second Amendment activists to jar them into action.

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