CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, November 30, 2020

Lott & Wang on Concealed Carry Permit Holders

John R. Lott and Rujun Wang (US Department of Justice and Crime Prevention Research Center) have posted Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2020 (Report from the Crime Prevention Research Center, 2020) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
During President Trump’s administration, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared to over 19.48 million – a 34% increase over 2016. However, while gun sales have set records in 2020, the growth in concealed handgun permits has slowed as many states shutdown their issuance of new permits. 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” that we have. Seventeen states no longer provide data on all the people who are legally carrying a concealed handgun because people in those states no longer need a permit to carry.

Among the findings of our report: Permits for women and minorities continue to increase at a much faster rate than for either men or whites. Alabama has the highest concealed carry rate — 28.5% of adults holding a permit, with Indiana in second with 18.7%. Five states now have over 1 million permit holders. 7.6% of American adults have permits. Outside of the restrictive states of California and New York, about 9.2% of the adult population has a permit. Permit holders continue to be extremely law-abiding.

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