A 2019 report by Dr. John Lott, Jr., president and founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), sheds new light on concealed carry permits, concealed carry permit holders and crime across the United States.
The report opens by saying that “despite the expectations of many after the 2016 elections, the number of concealed handgun permits has increased for the third year in a row. In 2019, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to … over 18.66 million — a 304 percent increase since 2007 [and] about an 8 percent growth over the number of permits since 2018. Unlike surveys that may be affected by people’s unwillingness to answer some personal questions, concealed handgun permit data is the only really ‘hard data’ that we have on gun ownership across the United States. Still, an even larger number of people [actually] carry because in 16 states, people don’t need a permit…”
Other interesting findings include:
- Despite the expansion of constitutional carry “and expectations that permits were primarily driven by fears of Democratic presidencies,” the growth in permits has been continuous, even after the 2016 election. The report states “there were 2.7 million concealed handgun permit holders in 1999, 4.6 million in 2007, 8 million in 2011, 11.1 million in 2014, and now 18.66 million in 2019.” Also, because residents of the 16 constitutional carry states are not required to obtain a concealed carry permit, this growth doesn’t necessarily “paint a full picture of the overall increase in concealed carry” across the nation.
- As permits have increased exponentially, there has also been a decline in both murder (7 percent decrease) and overall violent crime (24 percent decrease) rates. Lott claims that “such simple evidence by itself isn’t meant to show that concealed handgun permits reduce violent crime rates … but only that there doesn’t seem to be any obvious positive relationship between permits and crime.”
- More than 1 in 4 — 26.3 percent — of adults in Alabama have a concealed carry permit. To that I say: “Heck, yeah!”
- Florida currently has more than 2 million concealed carry permit holders (2.03 million, to be exact). Texas (1.407 million), Pennsylvania (1.33 million) and Georgia (1.051 million) aren’t far behind. At the bottom of the list? California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Hawaii.
- Among states that reported permit data by gender, women make up about 26.5 percent of permit holders. I imagine we will continue to see that number rise.
- Only five states reported permit data by race, but that data showed that permits grew at a 20 percent faster rate for blacks than for whites.
- Concealed handgun permit revocation rates across 20 states showed numbers in the hundredths of one percent. (Florida, for example, revoked just 10.4 permits per 100,000 issued.) Bottom line? Concealed carry permit holders continue to be among the most law-abiding citizens in our nation.
This is just a small sampling of the interesting and enlightening data found in the 2019 Concealed Carry Report from Dr. John Lott, Jr. and the CPRC. I encourage you to read the whole thing here.
Take Care and Stay Safe,
Publisher – Concealed Carry Report