Lott: 1.4 Million New Concealed Carry Permits Issued Last Year

The number of concealed carry permit holders has increased for the third year in a row, according to a new report from Dr. John Lott and the Crime Prevention Research Center. About 7.3 percent of American adults – or 18.33 million people – now hold permits, which represents a 304 percent increase since 2007 and an 8 percent increase since last year.

Alabama has the highest concealed carry rate at 26.3 percent, with Indiana (17.9 percent) and South Dakota (16.02 percent) coming in second and third. The report’s authors note that the true number is likely higher in constitutional carry states like South Dakota.

Four states – Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas – now have over 1 million permit holders, and Florida is the first state to boast over 2 million permits.

Photo: “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2019”/CPRC

SEE ALSO: California Sheriff Under Investigation for Pay-to-Play Concealed Carry Permits

Women and minorities are by far the fastest growing demographics in the concealed carry population. According to the report, among the three states with gender and race data spanning at least a decade, these demographics have increased exponentially faster than their white, male counterparts.

  • In Texas, black females saw a 3.6 times greater percentage increase in permits than white males.
  • North Carolina had black permits increase twice as fast as whites.
  • In Oklahoma, the increase for American Indians was twice the rate for whites, and for blacks it was 66% greater than for whites.
  • In 2019, women made up 26.5% of permit holders in the 12 states that provide data by gender. Eight states had data from 2012 to 2019, and permit numbers grew 101% faster for women than for men.

The report’s authors argue that concealed carry permit numbers indicate gun ownership rates more reliably than National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) checks or surveys. Sometimes gun owners purchase multiple firearms on a single NICS check, and sometimes a concealed carry permit holder is not required to undergo a NICS check when purchasing a firearm. Surveys are also unreliable because gun owners are often unwilling to admit to owning guns to a pollster.

Concealed carry permit numbers do not suffer from the same weaknesses, and these numbers have increased no matter which political party controls the White House. While NICS checks have decreased in frequency post-2016, concealed carry numbers have continued to climb.

The report’s authors also note that more concealed carry permits do not result in more violent crime. If anything, the opposite is true. (Graph:: “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2019”/CPRC)

SEE ALSO: Concealed Carry Against A Mob: When To Draw

Just because a person possesses a concealed carry permit does not guarantee that the individual is carrying a firearm, of course. By comparing their data to a 2017 survey from the Pew Research Center, the report’s authors conclude that 2.4% of Americans say that they carry all the time, 5.4% carry most or all the time, 12.3% carry at least some of the time.

“What does this mean in practice?” the authors ask. “It means that in most places where people are allowed to carry a concealed handgun, there will be someone carrying a concealed handgun.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Romeo G Alimbuyao September 26, 2020, 11:58 am

    My shield will arrive first and reacts faster than the five minutes arrival of Law Enforcement Officers..

  • David Obradovich October 20, 2019, 3:41 pm

    When I was five years old, the debate was to not be on a list so when the government turned on it’s citizens, they would not have a registry, same as with instant background checks, the records were to be destroyed after the check, so they would not know who owned guns, whose house to search, like Hitler knowing who the Jews were in the neighborhood. Now with the concealed carry permit systems in place, the wrong government, like we have now in Wisconsin, the wrong Democrat gets into office, and they can come for your guns. Same as Red Flag Laws, if the Democrat or Rhino in charge does not like your side, they know who to come and confiscate for their threatening political views. We have a Second Amendment to protect us from a over reaching corrupt government, and it looks like every day we are getting closer to having one. Red Flag Laws are already being abused and they have used carry permit holders lists to confiscate already in some states. With fruitcake Democrats running for president, who do you trust. Well now that you all are on a list, maybe it is time to swear to defend the Constitution of the United States and all it’s amendments without change as it stands now, for all police to show and swear their support along with all military personnel, and join me in a new citizen’s national guard to protect us from the likes of the new progressive Democratic party and their desire to disarm us and shove their agenda up our collective asses. If this sounds like it’s time has come and we can form a new type of NRA, legally, and within the laws of the USA, then join me in exploring the possibilities, since you are already on a list anyway. I will figure out a way for you to pledge your support in the future.

  • Shan October 12, 2019, 4:29 pm

    Wow guess I’m one of the 2% in California. Don’t go out without my shield.

  • Mark - Bristol, IN. October 12, 2019, 11:09 am

    Concealed Carry is nice and I too have a permit but if it were up to me we would have nationwide Open Carry for ALL legal age…legal Americans. The way that I see it there are a lot of predators in the world, bad people from robbers and the sort to and including politicians that take advantage of people because they know that they can because the victims only recourse is to either turn another cheek and accept it or to hire an attorney. This all began and has gotten worse over the decades and centuries after law abiding Americans have mostly been disarmed publicly and predators know it and take advantage of it. Bring back Open Carry, the “Wild West” days, if you will, of instant defense and justice. Predators will back off immediately out of fear of a slap across their chops, turn and walk off ten paces, turn and…resolve the problem instantly. Sure there will be mistakes and mishaps by nitwits packing, but overall a lot of stupid stuff would come to an end by fearful predators. AND taxpayer funded prison overcrowding would go way down because a lot of predators wouldn’t make prison, real time. Nationwide Open Carry for ALL legal age…legal Americans would go a long way to resolving a lot of stupid stuff.

  • Leighton Cavendish October 11, 2019, 10:28 am

    remember…some places don’t need a permit to carry concealed and/or open.
    and criminals? they will carry in all states…legal or not…that’s part of the reason they are criminals

  • Justin October 11, 2019, 8:23 am

    That map is very revealing, even though it is no surprise that CA, NY, MD and NJ have the lowest carry permits. It would be even more revealing to see the violent crime rates in those same states.
    No doubt they are much higher in those same states.

  • Charles Jennings October 11, 2019, 7:59 am

    We need to up those numbers,people take a friend,neighbor,cousin shooting,and get them aware of the dangers facing citizens today,response times of police,and the revolving door policies of the legal system.

  • SuperG October 9, 2019, 11:19 am

    Great news. Americans see that government is failing them by aiding and abetting the criminals with weak sentences and early releases, and are arming up to protect themselves! I conceal carry every day, and I do not even take the garbage out without my sidearm. I know I may not win a gun fight with a seasoned criminal, but I will have at least died trying! I will not be a sheeple and be slaughtered!

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