“Texas has quietly reached a milestone,” nytimes.com proclaims. “More than a million residents now have handgun licenses, one of the biggest citizenries in the country authorized to carry concealed and unconcealed firearms . . . These license holders, just 3.7 percent of the state’s 27 million residents, are a symbol of the nation’s culture wars and a subject of scrutiny, state pride, controversy and curiosity.” New York Times writer Manny Fernandez puts the stat into numerical perspective . . .
As of April 30, there were 1,017,618 active handgun license holders in Texas, according to the state agency that oversees the process, the Department of Public Safety. That means there are more people in Texas with permission to carry a gun than there are residents of the city of Fort Worth. Texas’ numbers far exceed those in several other states.
Oklahoma has more than 251,000. South Carolina has 276,084. Washington State, 534,978. Tennessee, 555,865. But at least one state has more license holders: Florida, with 1,743,954.
However, Texas, with 5,672 permits issued per 100,000 adults 21 and over, is not the state with the most gun permits per capita. Florida (11,965 permits per 100,000 adults), Tennessee (11,851 per 100,000 adults) and Washington State (10,635 per 100,000 adults) are some of the leaders by that measure.
The article on the tally was no doubt inspired by Texas’ new (January 2016) Open Carry law, which allows (don’t get me started) any resident with a LTC to openly carry their firearms.
In January, a law took effect giving those with concealed-weapon permits the option of openly carrying their firearm in a shoulder or hip holster. But in the months since, few have embraced so-called open carry. “That’s showing off,” Mr. White, the former governor, said. “I just think that’s unbecoming.”
Strangely, that’s the only gun rights diss Mr. Fernandez allows himself — or was forced to include. Anyway, here’s an important data point: just under a third of the one million Lone Star State LTC holders are women.
The one million are made up of 268,200 women and 749,418 men, according to the Department of Public Safety. Most of those men and women — 873,166 — are white, but the agency’s data is limited: It includes race but not ethnicity, such as Hispanic. Of the rest, 67,952 are black, 22,115 are Asian or Pacific Islander, and 4,126 are American Indian or Alaskan Native. An additional 12,936 identify as multiracial, and 37,323 are listed as other or unknown.
You want a real surprise? Check out how the article ends:
“I’d say those who predicted shootouts at four-way stops need to apologize to the rest of us,” said Jerry Patterson, the former state senator and Marine fighter-jet pilot who wrote the 1995 law.
Don’t hold your breath Mr. Patterson. Meanwhile, winning.