Carry Licenses
Image via Daily Caller
Previous Post
Next Post

John Lott has released a new report that has a lot of bad news for the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex. His research shows that 7.14% of Americans now have concealed carry licenses. Incredibly, that number has exploded 273% since 2007. Clearly more and more Americans vote with their wallets when it comes to guns and gun ownership.

Without a doubt, the surge in carry permits further shows Americans continue to embrace the benefits of gun ownership.  The trend follows the massive growth in overall gun purchases that took off when President Obama took office.

All of this spells bad news for Shannon Watts, Michael Bloomberg and other gun-grabbing elites on the wrong side of freedom, liberty and civil rights.

Not only that, but the growth sector in license holders isn’t among old fat white guys. Women, African-Americans and Asians represent the fastest growing subsets of applicants. After all, you can’t abuse a woman who shoots back. Armed blacks experience less discrimination. And armed gays don’t get bashed. Most law enforcement officers like carry permit holders, too.

The only areas where permit issuance has slowed is in constitutional carry states where permits are no longer needed.

The Daily Caller covered Lott’s report.

The number of concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits is soaring to new levels despite the rabid anti-gun activism following a slew of school shootings over the past year.

Issued CCW permits increased approximately 275 percent over a ten-year period, from 4.6 million permits in 2007 to over 17.25 permits in 2018, according to a study released Friday by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). The number has been increasing year over year and is forecast to continue trending upwards.

The most notable demographic increase was found to be among women and minorities. During the aforementioned time period, CCW issuance jumped 111 percent faster for women than for men. Moreover, compared to white individuals, permits for Asian and black individuals spiked 29 percent and 20 percent quicker, respectively.

In fact, here is the report’s abstract, in full:

Despite the expectations of many after the 2016 elections, the number of concealed handgun permits has increased for the second year in a row. In 2018, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to now over 17.25 million – a 273% increase since 2007. 7.14% of American adults have permits. Unlike surveys that may be affected by people’s unwillingness to answer some personal questions, concealed handgun permit data is the only really “hard data” that we have on gun ownership across the United States. Still, an even larger number of people carry because in 14 states people don’t need a permit to carry in all or virtually all those states. Permits for women and blacks are increasing much faster than they are for men and whites. There are also significant differences in not only the number of permits issued but also who gets them when politicians have discretion in granting them. We also provide evidence on how incredibly law-abiding permit holders are.

Lott has crammed his report (.pdf) chock full of great information for the good guys. On page 40, he writes about reasons why people obtain carry licenses. The biggest driver of license applications? Mass killings. How does he know? He examined Google traffic and noticed huge spikes in searches for “concealed carry” immediately after mass shootings and even Islamic terror attacks.

From his report:

These attacks have also been followed by sharp increases in the number of permits being issued. With about 890,000 new concealed handgun permits issued in just the last year — bringing the total to 17.25 million — Americans have clearly done more than simply look up information on the Internet.

The surge in concealed handgun permits corresponds closely with opinion polls on guns. Take a series of polls by the Pew Research Center. In December 2012, 48% of respondents said that owning a gun “protected them from being crime victims” as opposed to 37% who answered that it would be “putting people’s safety at risk.”25 By December 2014, people’s positive impressions of gun ownership had grown to a margin of 57-to-38.

Similar changes can be seen in polls by Gallup and ABC News-Washington Post.26 They asked a more narrow question: whether having a gun in the home makes the home safer or more dangerous. The change has been dramatic. In 2000, Gallup found that only 35 percent of Americans thought that owning a gun made their home safer. By 2014, that number had soared to 63 percent.

It’s not just that Americans think that having a gun makes them safer as individuals. They also feel better knowing that their neighbors are armed. A Rasmussen poll from this past June found that a 68-to-22 percent margin of Americans “feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed.”27

A poll by PEW helps to explain why there has been such a large increase in concealed handgun permits among blacks and women. The poll shows a 25 percentage point increase in the proportion of blacks with a favorable view of gun ownership. This is the largest increase of any group. The increase among all women was 11 percentage points, and the increase among men was 8 percentage points.

Lott’s report serves as nothing but bad news for Democrats who have fully embraced gun control as a campaign plank going into the midterms this fall.

From Fox News:

As the Democrats shift to the left on a number of issues from health care to immigration, they’ve already gone all in on one of the most contentious issues around — gun control.

A study by The Wall Street Journal found that of the 63 candidates on the House Democrats’ campaign arm’s list of seats to flip in November, 62 support expanded background checks for gun purchases.

It also serves to debunk the mainstream media narrative. Is it any wonder you haven’t heard anything about this report on NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, or the New York Times?

In fact, when I Googled this morning, “John Lott report demand for concealed carry permits 7.14%”, Google gave me two hits. I didn’t even get back the Daily Caller story. Are the tech giants suppressing bad news in search results now as well as in their social media sites?

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. So what are the numbers of folks who have their government permission slip – but don’t routinely carry?

    • I recall hearing somewhere that at any one time, 10 percent of those with permits carry.

      Meaning, 90 percent of those with permits have the option to carry if they felt the need…

      • 100 percent of the population (permit or not) has the option to carry…except, of course, where infringed by law.

        • “100% of the population”. So a convicted felon, mentally ill person, a 14 years old…should be able to pack heat?

        • @El possun Gordo, @neiowa…The right to defend oneself from physical harm is as basic a human right as you can get. Are you saying “rights” are only for a deserving few? You know, only the ones that think just like you do? I don’t care if bad guys have guns (knives, cars, name your weapon). I only care that my right to do so is not restricted. And if that is my right, I pretty much expect that others will expect and deserve the same rights.

        • –100% of the population”. So a convicted felon, mentally ill person, a 14 years old…should be able to pack heat?–

          a convicted felon, a mentally ill person, a 14 year old – DO pack heat, regardless of the law anyways.

        • @Chris…So a convicted felon, mentally ill person, a 14 years old has no right of self defense?

        • El Possum Gordo says:
          August 20, 2018 at 14:16
          “100% of the population”. So a convicted felon, mentally ill person, a 14 years old…should be able to pack heat?

          In Washington DC, legal civilian gun owners are 1% of the population. Carry license holders are 0.2% of the DC population. but 25% of the total DC population has and often carries illegally, most are most typically FELONS, multiple count criminals or minors.

          The criminals already DO own and carry illegal guns

      • I recall hearing somewhere that at any one time, 10 percent of those with permits carry.

        That is false. you mean only 11% carry every moment they are out. 25 % to 35 carry ALL or most of the time. and 55% to 60% in the surveys carry some of the time.

        My wife is a teacher and doesn’t carry in school where it is illegal but she caries five days a week when she runs in the morning so she caries most days but not most of the time. She would be in the “some of the time” category despite carrying five days a week for her runs

    • From the report:

      11% of handgun owners say that they carry all the time, 26% say they carry
      most or all the time, and 57 percent say that they carry at least some of the time.

        • Or you could just wear a full-sized pistol and not worry about it. Why carry something small?

        • Ruger LCP; don’ t have a reason not to carry it everywhere, can hide it anywhere. Ignore the signs, don’t go where they search or scan. Concealed has to mean concealed and stay that way unless you want to open yourself up to being a victim.

  2. Averages suck. This would be better news if those permits were distributed evenly across the country, but we know that they aren’t. This is another symptom of the polarization of our country.

    • “Averages suck.”

      Thank you for the leverage point.

      Yes, averages suck. Especially when the real details suck worse. 7% of “Americans” tells us that an increase is measurable, but it also tells us the result is merely a statistical blip. 15 million concealed carriers might be significant….if compared to a proper segment of the populace (as in those of age to legally own a firearm/obtain carry license/own guns/ vote). What is the likelihood all holders of carry licenses will put 2A at the top of the list of wants from politicians?

      Statistics can, however be fun: Small village has four inhabitants; all adults. The four are gainfully employed. Two retire. Headline in local weekly paper – “Unemployment Skyrockets to 50%”.

      Point is that until something like 75% of Americans of voting age (and likely to vote) oppose gun control expansions anywhere, we are talking small potatoes. Some may take solace in that any improvement is better than a decline. However, if the “improvement” is not decisive, overwhelming, active, where is the victory?

    • Calvin,

      That 7% averaged across the country is actually fairly decent news and here is why:

      A few states such as Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts have a combined population of about 78 million people and effectively 0% concealed carry licenses. Since that 78 million people represents about 24% of the U.S. population, that means the other states have about a 10% concealed carry licensing rate. And even more carry under “constitutional carry” without a license.

      More importantly, that means deeply anti-firearm U.S. Senators will be largely confined to a few states. And that means it will be next to impossible for Congress to pass any laws that significantly infringe on our right to keep and bear arms.

      We are rapidly approaching 1 out of every 8 adults exercising their right to carry a handgun for self defense in the other 44 states. That IS good news.

      • yeah,..would say it’s really catching on…recently attended a class for arizona and utah permits..sat up front..but when I turned to look behind me the place was packed…easily over 200 people including women [black and white]…city dwellers and suburbanites seem to be embracing the concept…

    • Texas has a little over 28 million people and a little over a million LTC holders. That’s around 3.5% if my math is correct. (Math isn’t my strong suite).

      The total population includes 0-18 year olds, convicted felons, etc. so the percentage of people who have a LTC compared to the people who are eligible to have one is probably in the 8-10% range.

      • Firstly Texas is nowhere near the leading per capita ccw state. Lots of states have more, Texas doesn’t have half the per capita carriers of a lot of other states.

        And that 28 million includes a lot of illegals, as well as certain classes of legal immigrants whose visas don’t give them the right to carry. also 32% of Texas population is under 21. So about 20% of eligible texas residents have CCW

  3. I would love to see at a minimum 15% of Americans in total actively carrying on a regular basis.

  4. I wonder what that number would be if you eliminated places like NY, NJ, CA, HI etc. where it is basically impossible to get a permit….

    • Maybe not as big of difference as we may think. There are people who carry in CA, MA etc, they just have a ton of restrictions and if they use their gun for SD it has to be against 10 gang bangers armed with AK.

    • A properly designed survey might come up with useful data.

      ” You probably know that the 2nd Amendment guarantees to Americans that bearing arms “shall not be infringed”.
      “If you learned that your law-abiding neighbor or relative regularly carries a concealed handgun in order to protect his children, family, community even though he has not asked the government for license, would it bother you?”
      “do you think he should be able to do so without a begging the government for it’s permission?”

      Only an progtard would ask “do you illegally carry a concealed handgun without a permit?” and expect accurate responses. The obvious answer to such a question is “my canoe sank in a tragic accident”

  5. “slew of school shootings over the past year” Slew? What SLEW? BS

    ” concealed handgun permit data is the only really “hard data” that we have on gun ownership across the United States” Yes BECAUSE it is in fact REGISTRATION.

    • They use “slew”, a weasel term with no meaning, because they are desperate to get around the FACT that competed to 35 years ago, 30, 25, 20, 15 years ago there are today less school shootings by either number of incidents or number of victims than EVER.

      As far as data on gun ownership, Gallup and Pew, in separate surveys they do every two years, both show the proportion of people who say owning a gun makes a household safer has gone from 32%-35% to 58% to 61% in the past 30 years, meaning gun ownership is probably at the 60% level now

  6. Every citizen of the U.S. HAS a carry permit…its called the Constitution! Unfortunately, we allow people to not recognize it for what it is..

  7. It would indeed be interesting if a slew of citizens in New York City and the states of New Jersey and New York applied and overloaded the system. Unfortunately, however, the monetary cost to the individual citizen would be prohibitive ($429.75 in New York City, just to apply).

  8. I wonder if he took into account licenses that were renewed adding to the total? And does it take into account licenses from 10 years ago that were not renewed, thus, taking away from the total current license holders? Those would change the data significantly.

  9. How about the number of Americans that don’t need a carry license? Take Alaska, for one. Constitutional Carry is the way to go!

  10. Yeah, so when is my HOA going to vote to install a shooting range? If the numbers are improving that much then it should be an easy sell, right?

    Old Mark Twain often repeated what Benjamin Disraeli told him once, that there are three types of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics. You can make any point you want if you cherry-pick the right statistics and ignore ones that don’t fully support what you want to promote. So I’ll believe that all these CC numbers represent a meaningful statistic when my local HOA puts in a range, or all my local ranges start expanding to meet demand.

Comments are closed.