Philadelphia permit applications explode from 2020 to 2021

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The city of Philadelphia terms itself the City of Brotherly Love. However, the truth is that nickname stopped really applying decades ago. Instead, it’s a city where someone will steal a victim’s gun.


Yes, Philly is a weird place, but it’s also a violent one. Crime has soared over the last couple of years.

As a result, it seems permit applications have soared as well.

Gun shop owners continue to see an increase in gun sales, particularly when it comes to new gun owners and people applying for gun permits for the first time.
Sebastian Stelmach is the co-owner of Double Tap Shooting Range and Gun Store in Philadelphia’s Holmesburg neighborhood.

Stelmach says they saw a huge increase in sales of guns and ammunition during the pandemic.

“Ever since then, it’s been going up with more gun sales, new shooters, you name it,” said Stelmach.

He says his customers, including new ones, say they are motivated to buy guns out of concern for their personal protection.

The Action News Data Journalism team looked at the numbers and found the Philadelphia Police Department’s gun permit unit saw nearly six and a half times as many gun permit applications received in 2021 as in 2020 — a 539% increase.


That’s impressive.


At this rate, Philadelphia might end up becoming a pro-gun city in no time flat. Realistically, though, that number might be impressive, but it’s not overly surprising.

Now, I talk a lot about context, so let me provide a bit here. A 539 percent increase can be impressive, or may not mean much. It’s all about where you started.

In 2020, Philadelphia had 11,073 permits issued. In 2021, though, they issued 70,787 permits.

Now, Philadelphia has more than 1.5 million people, but it should be remembered that these permits don’t just expire after a year, so there’s some overlap.

Additionally, so far for 2022, there have been 17,049 permit applications within the city.

With crime running as high as it is there, this is hardly surprising. While many might support gun control on some level, they know they can be trusted with a firearm, it’s just everyone else. So, they get a gun and get a permit and then hope they never have to use it, much like the rest of us.

Frankly, though, it’s impressive enough that I can’t help but wonder just what the permitting numbers are like in other major cities throughout the nation. I suspect they’re seeing a similar spike as well.


If so, as more and more people become gun owners and start carrying a firearm, I suspect we may see Philadelphia become more and more accommodating of guns and more respectful of the Second Amendment in general.

But only if this current trend continues, and there I suspect we may run into a problem.

I mean, with tens of thousands of folks there carrying guns, it may well behoove the criminals to stay home, which means people may stop worrying about it.

Now, that’s a good thing. Don’t get me wrong. But then Philadelphia becomes a victim of its own success.

Either way, though, it’s good to see so many folks there recognize that it’s on them to protect themselves.

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