John R. Lott, Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), has released the group’s annual report of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2022, which has some remarkable findings in it. I personally was most interested in one figure in particular, that six states now have more than 1 million permit holders: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Florida is the top state with 2.57 million permits. Those are big numbers, and the totals are indications of how well gunowners’ rights will be protected in those areas.
But there is plenty more to chew on in the CPRC report. According to the paper:
- The number of concealed handgun permits has continued to increase. The figure now stands at 22.01 million — a 2.3% increase since last year. This increase occurred despite 24 Constitutional Carry states 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. A 25th state, Alabama, has also adopted Constitutional Carry, but its law didn’t go into effect until this month.
- Last year, the number of permit holders continued to grow by about 488,000, a 2.3% growth rate over 2021.
- 8.5% of American adults have permits. Outside of the restrictive states of California and New York, about 10.2% of adults have a permit.
- In 17 states, more than 10% of adults have permits. Since 2019, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have fallen below 10%, but they are now all Constitutional Carry states, meaning that people no longer need a permit to carry. The concealed carry rates for Connecticut, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have risen to more than 10% this year.
- Alabama has the highest concealed-carry rate — 32.5%. Indiana is second with 23.4%, and Georgia is third with 15.5%.
- In 2022, women made up 29.2% of permit holders in the 15 states that provide data by gender, an increase from the 28.3% last year. Seven states had data from 2012 to 2021/2022, and permit numbers grew 115.4% faster for women than for men.
- Twenty-five states have adopted Constitutional Carry for their entire state, meaning that a permit is no longer required. Because of these Constitutional Carry states, the nationwide growth in permits does not paint a full picture of the overall increase in concealed carry. Many residents still choose to obtain permits so that they can carry in other states that have reciprocity agreements, but while permits are increasing in the non-Constitutional Carry states, they fell in the Constitutional Carry ones even though more people are clearly carrying in those states.
To see the full report for yourself, search for “Concealed Carry Permit Holders 2022” or log onto CrimeResearch.org.