Since President Obama’s election the number of concealed handgun permits has soared, growing from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 12.8 million this year. Among the findings in our report:
- The number of concealed handgun permits is increasing at an ever increasing rate. Over the past year, 1.7 million additional new permits have been issued – a 15.4% increase in just one single year. This is the largest ever single-year increase in the number of concealed handgun permits.
- 5.2% of the total adult population has a permit.
- Five states now have more than 10% of their adult population with concealed handgun permits.
- In ten 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.
- Since 2007, permits for women has increased by 270% and for men by 156%.
- Some evidence suggests that permit holding by minorities is increasing more than twice as fast as for whites.
- Between 2007 and 2014, murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.2 (preliminary estimates) per 100,000. This represents a 25% drop in the murder rate at the same time that the percentage of the adult population with permits soared by 178%. Overall violent crime also fell by 25 percent over that period of time.
- Regression estimates show that even after accounting for the per capita number of police and people admitted to prison and demographics, the adult population with permits is significantly associated with a drop in murder and violent crime rates.
- Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies at one-sixth the rate that police officers are convicted.
Later in the report we find this:
This report will focus on the increase in concealed carry. Obviously, the main focus from a crime prevention point of view is whether people actually do carry guns, not whether they are allowed to do so.
Unsurprisingly, the number of permits has grown faster than the number of states that allow concealed carry. This is because in each state, the longer the law is in effect, more and more people have gradually applied and received permits. But there appears to be another factor: President Obama’s election in 2008. Not only did Obama’s election increase gun sales, it also increased the number of concealed handgun permits.
Initially the increase in permits was slow, growing from roughly 2.7 million permit holders in 1999 to 4.6 million in 2007. But the number of concealed handgun permits literally exploded during the Obama presidency. For December 2011, the federal Government Accountability Office estimated that there were at least 8 million concealed handgun permits. By the June 2014, it was 11.1 million; in 2015, 12.8 million.
In other words, during the eight years from 1999 to 2007, the number of permits increased by about 240,000 per year. During the next four years, the number of permits surged by 850,000 per year. Then from the end of 2011 to 2013 the yearly increase rose by 1,550,000. And during the last year the increase has continued to accelerate to 1,700,000.
Emphasis added. In other words, as others have observed, if Obama and his friends want to reduce the number of guns being sold and carried publically in this country they should resign from politics.
Then there is this which, with a little editing, could be put in a tweet with good effect on certain occasions:
Permit holders on rare occasion violate the law. But in order to truly appreciate how incredibly rare those problems are one needs to remember that there are over 12.8 million permit holders in the US. Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the US who is anywhere near as law--abiding.
One of the best ways to change the culture is to normalize a behavior. The anti-gun people have been trying to convince others we are “extremists” for decades. We are rapidly being able to turn the tables on them.
A couple weeks ago a female coworker told me, wide eyed and with an incredulous tone as if he were crazy, “My dad told I should get a concealed weapons permit!” I responded that another woman we both knew applied for one a week or so previously. Her attitude immediately became subdued and she didn’t continue the “crazy dad” attitude. Last week she told me about some guy in our building who scares her. He stares at her when she is around. She then told me she going to get a concealed pistol license and asked how to go about it. Today I offered to take her to the range at lunch time. She agreed but we haven’t gone yet.
That’s one way to victory. There is another path to culture change in the report I have been quoting above.
The concealed carry permit numbers for all states are included in the report. Alabama has the most with 12.64%. I’m most interested in Washington State, which has 8.83%, and Idaho with a 8.62% rate but we can mine more out of this paper.
The lowest permit rate in the top 26 states is North Carolina where the rate is 5.47%. So when someone expresses concern about people discretely carrying firearms in public you can tell them, “If you live in most states the odds are that at least one in 20 and perhaps as high as one in eight people you meet in public has a permit to carry. How many people did you see in public today?”
In other words the changing concealed carry culture can change the culture further by pointing out how normal it is to carry firearms in public.
But perhaps the strangest indicator the culture is changing I have seen came in the form of an email today. In part it said, “It seems like shooting like you do would be quite a rush. Does that extra adrenaline carry over into the realm of subsequent sex?”
I invited them to the range with me to get some free coaching and see for themselves.