As Americans have embraced their Second Amendment rights by the millions this year, the number of concealed carry holders has grown as well, though not as quickly as you might think. According to the latest figures from the Crime Prevention Research Center, there are now 19.48-million Americans with their concealed carry license, which is up 4.4% compared to 2019.
Dr. John Lott, the founder and president of the CPRC, joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to crunch the numbers, starting with the fact that we’d likely be at 20-million or just a hair below if it weren’t for the fact that many jurisdictions have either restricted the ability to apply for a concealed carry license or stopped accepting applications altogether over the past few months. As I noted earlier today, residents in Pittsburgh, PA are currently being told that they can apply for their license in March of 2021, while Philly residents are facing a year-long wait to exercise their right to bear arms.
Lott says that the growing number of constitutional or permitless carry states is also beginning to have an impact on the number of concealed carry licensees. The CPRC reports that the number of residents in Arkansas and Oklahoma who are licensed to carry is now less than 10% of residents, which Lott attributes to the fact that a license to carry is no longer needed in those states (though residents wanting to carry in most other states will still need a concealed carry license that’s recognized).
Despite those factors, the number of concealed carry holders still grew by about 820,000 people over the last year, according to the CPRC’s research, and Lott says that five states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas) now have more than 1-million license holders. In fact Florida now has more than 2-million concealed carry holders, and it’s worth noting that since the state adopted “shall issue” concealed carry in 1987, the state’s violent crime rate has declined by almost 66%; from 1,024 violent crimes per 100k people to 378 violent crimes per 100k in 2019. Florida’s homicide rate has also dropped dramatically; in 1987 it stood at 11.4 per 100k, while in 2019 it was 5.2 per 100k.
Lott also notes that in states that keep track of the demographics of concealed carry holders, women now make up 26.4% of all licensees, and in the seven states that have data dating back to 2012, the number of female license holders has grown more than 100% faster than the number of men who are licensed to carry.
The increasing diversity of concealed carry holders is also borne out by statistics in states that have detailed data on the race and gender of license holders. In Texas, Lott says the number of black women who obtained their concealed carry license between 2002 and 2019 grew nearly 400% compared to white males. Data from Oklahoma data during the same time period indicates that the increase of licenses received by Asians and American Indians was more than twice the rate for white residents.
Be sure to check out the entire interview with Dr. Lott above, which also touches on his new op/ed in the Wall Street Journal on the war on the firearms industry that Democrats are likely to wage if they take control of the White House and Congress in the November elections. And stick around after the interview for more news, including an armed citizen in South Carolina who defended himself from a trio of home invaders, and a suspected looter in Chicago who was out on probation for a gun offense when he allegedly helped to break into and steal from seven different stores back in early August.