Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2020

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See all articles by John R. Lott

John R. Lott

Crime Prevention Research Center

Rujun Wang

Crime Prevention Research Center

Date Written: October 2, 2020

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.

Keywords: concealed handgun permits, defensive gun use, right-to-carry laws, constitutional carry

JEL Classification: K10, K47

Suggested Citation

Lott, John R. and Wang, Rujun, Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2020 (October 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

John R. Lott (Contact Author)

Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )

PO Box 3234
Alexandria, VA
United States

Rujun Wang

Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )

PO Box 3234
Alexandria, VA
United States

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