The CPRC has just issued our newest annual report on the number of concealed handgun permits in the US. A copy of the report is available for download here. Some updated numbers are shown at the bottom of this post. Past reports can be viewed here. The executive summary is shown here:
Despite the expectations of many after the 2016 elections, the number of concealed handgun permits has again increased. In 2018, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to 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.
Among the findings of our report:
- Last year, despite the common perception that growth in the number of permit holders would stop after the 2016 election, the number of permits grew by about 890,000.
- Outside the restrictive states of 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.
- Another 14 states have adopted constitutional carry in all or almost all of their state, meaning that a permit is no longer required. However, because of these constitutional carry states, the nationwide growth in permits does not paint a full picture of the overall increase in concealed carry.
- Permits continued to grow much faster for women and minorities. Between 2012 and 2018, the percent of women with permits grew 111% faster for women and the percent of blacks with permits grew 20% faster than for whites. Permits for Asians grew 29% faster than for whites.
- 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.
The report is available to be downloaded here.