August 1st, 2017

One in 15 American Adults Has a Handgun Permit

Crime Prevention Resource Center John Lott CPRC Report 2017

The latest Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) study on concealed handgun permits reveals that over 16.3 million Americans now have them, and that the ranks of permit holders are becoming more diverse, with more women and minorities getting permits than ever before. The major findings of the 2017 CPRC report are summarized below. A copy of the report is available for download here.

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There are now over 16.3 million gun permit holders, a record 1.83 million increase in permits since July 2016. Nationwide, 6.53% of adults have a concealed handgun permit. That’s roughly one in 15 adult citizens. Outside of California and New York, 8% of adults have a permit. The permit issuance numbers for women, Blacks, and Asians are increasing at faster rate than for men and Caucasions.

More guns, less crime — that’s the conclusion of the latest report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). The CPRC Concealed Carry Report attributes some of the drop in crime rates to the fact that more Americans than ever before are carrying handguns for protection. In the past eight years, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared, growing from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 16.3 million this year. Overall, 6.53% of the U.S. adult population, i.e roughly one in fifteen American adults, now has a concealed carry permit.

Crime Prevention Resource Center John Lott CPRC Report 2017

Here are some interesting findings in the 2017 CPRC Report:

  • 6.53% of the total adult U.S. population has a weapons carry permit.
  • Last year, the number of permit holders grew by a record 1.83 million. This is more than the previous record increase of 1.73 million, set just the year before.
  • In 11 states, more than 10% of adults have permits. Alabama has the highest rate — 20%. Indiana is second with 15.8%.
  • In 14 states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all of the state. This is a major reason why legal carrying handguns is growing so much faster than the number of permits.
  • In 2016, women made up 36% of permit holders in the 14 states that provide data by gender. Eight states had data from 2012 to 2016 and they saw a 326% faster increase in permits among women than among men.
  • From 2012 to 2016, in the five states that provide data by race over that time period, the number of black people with permits increased 30% faster than the number of whites with permits. Asians appear to be the group that has experienced the largest increase in permitted concealed carry.
  • Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and drops in murder and violent crime rates. Each one percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
  • States with the largest increase in permits have seen the largest relative drops in murder rates.

Crime Prevention Resource Center John Lott CPRC Report 2017 Handgun carry permit

Carry Permit Holders are Law-Abiding
Interestingly, Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted. From 2014 data, police officers commit crimes at rate of 103 per 100,000 (national average) compared to 12.8 per 100,000 for permit holders in Florida and 22.8 per 100,000 for permit holders in Texas.

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