August 21st, 2018

Carry Nation — 17.25 Million Americans Have Carry Permits

Concealed Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC Report

The United States has become a Carry Nation. Today, 7.14% of all American adults have concealed handgun carry permits. In 15 states over 10% of adults have permits, with the highest rate (22%) in Alabama. In 2018, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to over 17.25 million — a 273% increase since 2007.

Concealed Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC ReportChanges in state laws have fueled the large growth in the number of persons carrying concealed handguns. Permits are more readily available. In fact, in 14 states now a permit is essentially not required to carry in nearly all parts of those states.

Here are the findings of the 2018 Center for Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) Report on Concealed Carry Permits. READ Full Report HERE.

— Last year, 2017, the number of permits grew by about 890,000.

— Outside California and New York, about 8.63% of the adult population has a permit.

— In fifteen states, more than 10% of adults have permits, up from just eleven last year.

— Alabama has the highest rate — 22.1%. Indiana is second with 17.9%, and South Dakota is a close third with 17.2%.

— Four states now have over 1 million permit holders: Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

— Fourteeen states have Constitutional Carry, meaning that a permit is no longer required in almost all regions of those states.

More Guns, Less Crime

This graphic shows the huge increase in the number of permits in the past 20 years. And during that period, the incidence of violent crime rate has decreased significantly.

Concealed Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC Report

Women and Minorities Exercise Their Carry Rights

The permit issuance numbers continue to grow much faster for women and minorities. Between 2012 and 2018, the percentage of women with permits grew 111% faster than the percentage of men with permits rose. In the same period, the percentage of Asians with permits grew 29% faster than the percentage of whites. Permits for Black Americans grew 20% faster than for whites.

Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC Report

Carry Guard Expo Convention Next Month
Marking the growth in concealed carry permits in the USA, there is now a large trade show dedicated to the concealed carry movement. The NRA’s Carry Guard Expo will be held September 14-16, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia. There will be lectures, seminars, and demonstrations of the latest in carry firearms, holsters and accessories.

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September 24th, 2014

How America Became a “Shall Issue” Nation

Concealed Carry Legislation Right to Carry handgun weaponOver the past three decades, a quiet revolution has been taking place across the country. We’re talking about the expansion of “right-to-carry” or “shall issue” laws allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms. If you look at the animated map below, you’ll see that the vast majority of states now allow citizens to obtain carry permits on a “shall-issue” basis. That typically means than a citizen can obtain a carry permit after fulfilling basic requirements, such as a background check, safety class, and finger-printing.

As recently as the mid-1990s, most states disallowed carry permits, or allowed such permits only at the discretion of local law enforcement officials. Over the past 30 years states have migrated to less restrictive alternatives. The map below shows how most states have gone from “No-Issue” (Red) or “May-Issue” (Yellow) status to “Shall Issue” (Blue).

Concealed Carry Legislation Right to Carry handgun weapon

Opponents of right-to-carry legislation argued that the passage of “shall issue” laws would increase gun violence. In fact, the opposite occurred. The level of violent gun crime has declined in recent decades. A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) showed a 39% decline in gun murders from 1993 to 2011 plus a 69% drop in non-fatal gun crimes during that period.

All 50 states have now passed laws allowing citizens to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a “shall-issue” or “may-issue” permit from local law enforcement. Illinois had been the last state without such a provision — but its long-standing ban on concealed weapons was overturned in a federal appeals court, on Constitutional grounds. Illinois was required by the court to draft a concealed carry law by July 9, 2013 at which time the Illinois legislature, over-riding the amendatory veto of the governor who had sought to impose many restrictions, approved concealed carry to begin January 2014, at the latest.

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November 17th, 2011

National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Legislation Moves Forward

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an important self-defense measure that would enable millions of Right-to-Carry permit holders across the country to carry concealed firearms while traveling outside their home states. H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, passed by a majority bipartisan vote of 272 to 154. All amendments aimed to weaken or damage the integrity of this bill were defeated.

H.R. 822, introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), allows any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes.

This bill does not affect existing state laws. State laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within each state’s borders. H.R. 822 does not create a federal licensing system or impose federal standards on state permits; rather, it requires the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as they recognize drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.

Editor’s Note: This is good news, but this bill, H.R. 822, has to pass the U.S. Senate AND survive the possibility of a Presidential veto, before it can become law. While being considered in the Senate, the bill could be modified or weakened.

NRA Institute for Legislative Action Supports H.R. 822
“The NRA has made the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act a priority because it enhances the fundamental right to self-defense guaranteed to all law-abiding people,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “People are not immune from crime when they cross state lines. That is why it is vital for them to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones[.]”

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May 29th, 2011

Violent Crime Falls as Gun Ownership Numbers Grow

While the two trends are not necessarily linked, it is interesting that serious crime continues to decline while firearms ownership expands with each passing year. Last week, the FBI released its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2010, showing a decrease of 5.5 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to its attention in 2010 compared to the previous year. Violent crime, which includes murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, decreased in all four regions of the country and in both cities and non-metropolitan areas. For decades, violent crime in the United States has been dropping. Final figures for 2009 showed violent crime at its lowest level since 1984. At the same time, firearms ownership and use has been increasing, as right-to-carry legislation has been passed in 80% of U.S. States. There are now 40 Right-to-Carry States: 37 have “shall issue” laws, requiring that carry permits be issued to applicants who meet uniform standards established by the state legislature. Two have discretionary-issue carry permit systems. Vermont respects the right to carry without a permit. Alaska and Arizona have “shall issue” permit systems and have allowed concealed carrying without a permit since 2003 and July 2010, respectively. The largest surge in firearms sales occurred from late 2008 into 2010, and, according to an NSSF report, an estimated 34.4 million people went target shooting in 2009, the largest number ever.

shall issue carry states

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May 2nd, 2010

Don’t Mess with Texas — 2.25% of Population Licensed to Carry

Texas concealed handgun licensesSome weeks ago we ran a story on Texas Governor Rick Perry, explaining that the Lone Star State’s Chief Executive is a serious shooter who sometimes carries his own handgun for personal protection. Well Gov. Perry is in good company — nearly 405,000 other Texans are licensed to carry.

2009 Licensing Statistics from the Texas Dept. of Public Safety reveal that 404,795 Texans have Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs) or are certified instructors. That number represents about 2.25% of all Texas residents. Remarkably, the number of Texans licensed to carry increased nearly one-third from 2008 to 2009, with 138,768 new CHLs issued last year. We’re not sure why so many more Texans decided to get carry permits in 2009, but this trend coincided with a major surge in gun sales following the 2008 Presidential election. So, now more than ever before, “Don’t Mess with Texas” is a warning would-be criminals must heed. With 1 in 50 Texans licensed to carry, Texas is one state where criminals must think twice before preying on law-abiding citizens. In Texas, the large number of citizens who carry concealed is a very real deterrent to crime.

More Guns, Less Crime
Since 1991, 23 states have adopted “shall issue” laws, replacing laws that prohibited carrying or that issued carry permits on a very restrictive basis; many other federal, state, and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive; and the number of privately-owned guns has risen by about 90 million. There are more RTC states, gun owners, people carrying firearms for protection, and privately owned firearms than ever before. In the same time frame, through 2008, the nation’s murder rate has decreased 46 percent to a 43-year low, and the total violent crime rate has decreased 41 percent to a 35-year low. Preliminary data reported by the FBI indicate that rates fell further in the first half of 2009. (Map and Right-To-Carry info courtesy NRA Institute for Legislative Action.)

Right to Carry Laws

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