During the Coronavirus pandemic, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to over 21.52 million—a 48% increase since 2016, according to the Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2021 report from the Crime Prevention Research Center. It’s also a 10.5% increase over the number of permits counted a year ago in 2020.
[ Read the SemperVerus article, Concealed Carry Daily Prayer ]
Unlike gun ownership surveys that may be affected by people’s unwillingness to answer personal questions, concealed handgun permit data is the only really “hard data” available. This increase occurred despite 21 Constitutional Carry states (AK, AR, AZ, IA, ID, KS, KY, ME, MO, MS, MT, ND, NH, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WV, WY) that no longer provide data on all those legally carrying a concealed handgun because people in those states no longer need a permit to carry. All states now allow concealed carry, although permit rules vary widely between states.
[ Read the SemperVerus article, 7.6% of USA Adults Are Licensed to Concealed Carry Handguns ]
Among the findings of the report:
- Last year, the number of permit holders grew by a record 2 million. This is more than the previous record increase of 1.8 million in 2017. Part of that is due to many states reopening concealed carry applications after the pause due to COVID-19.
- 8.3% of American adults have permits. Outside of the restrictive states of California and New York, about 10.0% of adults have a permit.
- In 15 states, more than 10% of adults have permits. Since 2019, Arkansas and Oklahoma have fallen below 10%, but they’re now all Constitutional Carry states, meaning people no longer need a permit to carry. Virginia’s concealed carry rate has risen to above 10%.
- Alabama has the highest concealed carry rate—32.1%. Indiana is second with 21.6%, and Iowa is third with 16.5%.