Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Percentage of Adults With Carry Permits in "Shall Issue" States

I am reproducing in its entirety a post by Ken Grubb which appeared this morning on the PA-CCW mailing list. This ranks each of the "shall issue" CCW states by the percentage of adults who have a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

After crunching through the 2000 Census and 2003 Census estimates, the numbers in Chris Bird's Fourth Edition "The Concealed Handgun Manual", some official sources online which are a little more current, and filling in a few gaps from a 1998 CCRKBA report, the winners are:

Percent of Adults with a License to Carry in each Shall Issue State

7.45% South Dakota
6.79% Indiana
6.76% Pennsylvania
5.23% Connecticut
5.12% Washington
4.34% Idaho
4.10% Utah
3.86% Oregon
3.45% Tennessee
3.15% Alabama
2.72% Florida
2.71% Kentucky
2.67% Wyoming
2.41% Maine
2.18% Arkansas
2.11% Virginia
1.94% West Virginia
1.76% Arizona
1.75% Oklahoma
1.70% Montana
1.70% Michigan
1.62% Texas
1.39% South Carolina
1.34% North Dakota
1.00% North Carolina
0.86% Mississippi
0.62% Louisiana
0.58% Nevada
0.45% Minnesota
0.36% Missouri
0.33% Ohio
0.20% Colorado
0.17% New Mexico <-- Slight correction 12/22/04, per Ken Grubb

Honorable mentions go to Georgia and New Hampshire. These are "old wave" Shall Issue states--IOW, pre Florida. Because issuance is scattered among many local agencies, no one in either Georgia or New Hampshire is collecting statewide numbers on how many folks are packing. Seems reasonable to place 'em somewhere between the two statistical extremes among the other "old wave" states (South and North Dakota). However, if I were a bettin' man I'd put 'em near the top, and probably above Washington.

Total licensees among the Shall Issue states (excluding Georgia and New

Total population living in True Right To Carry states (Alaska and Vermont):
1,267,925 (0.44 percent)

Total population living in Shall Issue states:
185,039,207 (63.75 percent)

Total population living in May Issue states:
81,350,620 (28.03 percent)

Total population living in No Issue states:
22,588,641 (7.78 percent)

Ken Grubb
Bellevue, WA

Edit: Welcome to new readers coming in via Instapundit (and thanks to Mike for suggesting I edit this post). If you liked this post, you may also find these older posts interesting:
Also, I'd like to draw your attention to The Shooter's Bar(SM), my online list of pro-RKBA attorneys. I hope you enjoy your time here and stop back again.


Anonymous said...

Wonder where CA falls - is it a "May" or "Shall" issue state. Given that there are, what, like 6 gun permits in LA County which represents what percentage of the state population - might as well knock that into the "Will not" issue category. Furthermore, the hoops one has to jump through living in Orange County makes my head spin.

Net net net, CA = a joke.

Anonymous said...

On the OH-CCW list, there was a gripe the other day about too few people getting licensed. Concealed-carry is new here this year - open carry's been legal forever, as far as I know.
The concern was that lawmakers might take the slow uptake as a sign that they wasted their time - if only a few thousand people get the permit, then why did they bother making them available?

But that's the whole point of concealed-carry - you can't tell who's carrying! Even those who choose not to carry are protected (to some degree) by the knowledge that a criminal can't know who's carrying and who's not.

While I hope to see Ohio's percentage grow, I don't see the low adoption rate as particularly meaningful.

Dave Markowitz said...

California is "may issue." In other words, it's up to the discretion of the local issuing authority if you get a CCW or not.

For more info on the sad state of affairs in CA, check out Jim March's Equal Rights for CCW page at http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/.

Anonymous said...

Alabama "pistol" permits are issued by each county's sheriff's department. I'm not really sure if we would be considered a "shall issue" state.
I thought Georgia had a state permit.
chuck over at redneckin

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the numbers for Florida and Utah include the non-resident CCW's. I live in Colorado but got my CCW in Florida because of the reciprocity issues.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen an attempt to correlate these stats with crime rates, especially violent crime? Just curious myself.

Anonymous said...

Besides Ohio's permit system being only 8 months old (it went into effect in April of this year) it is also one of the most restrictive of the shall issue states. Because of the requirement to be fingerprinted, have background checks, and the fact that you aren't really allowed to carry anywhere, people have figured "why bother go through all the hassle?" Since concealed carry is banned in all public buildings, churches and daycare centers, and all private businesses can ban them, about the only place you can carry concealed is outside. You aren't even permited to carry concealed in your own car. You must have the gun "holstered and in plain sight" whatever that means. One genleman was already arrested when a police officer pulled him over, and when the man told the officer that he had a firearm on him (as required by Ohio law) the officer told him to put up his hands. When he raised his arms, his jacket fell over his previously visible gun, and the officer arrested him for having a concealed gun in a vehicle. There was also the case of a convenience store owner who's name was printed in the paper for having a concealed carry permit. (Also allowed by Ohio law.) A couple of days after his name was printed, a couple of thugs came into his store to rob him. But instead of asking him for the money, they just immediately shot him. It has been questioned if the fact that this victim's name was printed in the paper had him killed. Until many of the restrictions are removed, more people won't be getting a permit.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if things have changed in Nevada but permit records are stored--in paper form--at each county's sheriff's office. Also, you do not need a permit to store a loaded weapon in your car.

That might account for Nevada's low percentage rate.

Anonymous said...

The case in Connecticut is misleading also. While permits are "shall issue", residents must first get a license in their home county (or city), then they can get one good statewide virtually automatically. One must have a permit to transport a handgun, so everyone who has a handgun must have a permit, unlike the situation in Texas or Arizona, where millions of people have and use handguns legally without carrying them.


Anonymous said...

A permit in CO costs about $250, and includes training classes, fingerprints, pictures, etc. Low demand will doubtless be used to argue for abolition in 2005.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to plot this data with crime statistics and compare these states to no carry states. My hunch is that crime is lowest in the states with the highest percentage of licensed to carry adults.

Anonymous said...

Last check, the VIOLENT crime rate in shall issue states (after the initial year or so) decreases in propotion to the number of licenses, twice as fast for violent crime against women and licenses to women.

Non-violent property crime may increase somewhat, giving a strong hint that violent criminals, especially robbers, switch to property theft.

Anonymous said...

Permits in Connecticut are not required when transporting to or from the range, home, business, gunshop. If someone has a permit from Connecticut, it's a Concealed Carry permit.

Anonymous said...

Ohio will only get better if Ohioans push to get a better law. The best way to do that is to go to the Ohioans For Concealed Carry website and become a member today. http://www.OhioCCW.org

Power comes in numbers, and efforts to reform legislation require funding.

Anonymous said...

Nice site, Dave! FYI, there's a discussion about your CCW statistics at THR here:


Dave Markowitz said...

Thanks, AAMOF I posted in that thread on THR.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...Interpolating from your statistics it would seem that PA has the most permits issued. Since SD has about 20 people and Illinois is smaller in population than PA.

PA is truly the state to live in if you are a gun owner, I am so glad I moved here from Noo Yawk.

NY is a get on your knees and maybe you will get a carry permit state.

Now if all this snow would melt so I can get to the range to shoot.......

Anonymous said...

For those with questions about what concealed carry laws do to violent crime stats....

They reduce them. Period.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across this blog and figured that I would add this.
to those who had questions about the correlation to violent crimes, here are the 2004 statistics from the census bureau violent crime ranking

7.45% South Dakota ~46th
6.79% Indiana ~29th
6.76% Pennsylvania ~23rd
5.23% Connecticut ~34th
5.12% Washington ~27th
4.34% Idaho ~41st
4.10% Utah ~43rd
3.86% Oregon ~31st
3.45% Tennessee ~4th
3.15% Alabama ~22nd
2.72% Florida ~2nd
2.71% Kentucky ~41st
2.67% Wyoming ~44th
2.41% Maine ~29th
2.18% Arkansas ~15th
2.11% Virginia ~35th
1.94% West Virginia ~36th
1.76% Arizona ~13th
1.75% Oklahoma ~14th
1.70% Montana ~18th
1.70% Michigan ~41st
1.62% Texas ~12th
1.39% South Carolina ~1st
1.34% North Dakota ~50th
1.00% North Carolina ~20th
0.86% Mississippi ~49th
0.62% Louisiana ~11th
0.58% Nevada ~8th
0.45% Minnesota ~6th
0.36% Missouri ~3rd
0.33% Ohio ~28th
0.20% Colorado ~25th
0.17% New Mexico ~5th

as for Georgia and New Hampshire
19th and 47th respectively.
the main idea gathered from this data isn't so much that CCWs lower the crime rate, as it is the laws regarding the use of firearms. If a criminal knows that you can kill him and walk he will be less likely to tempt his luck.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know where you got these stats?

Dave Markowitz said...

The source for the stats is in the first paragraph of what I quoted.

Anonymous said...

Where is Alaska in all of this??

Anonymous said...

I was looking at the list and percentages and was wondering why Alaska wasn't on there; then I woke up. Alaska doesn't require a CCW to carry concealed so obviously percentages would be hard to come by. The Alaska State Troopers have stated that based upon their findings, about 60% of the civilians they interact with are carrying. Alaskans have long been known to have the highest per capita gun ownership of any state in the union, and that is largely due to the fact that we have a low population and a large number of our population live in remote areas where hunting is still considered a subsistence activity, not a sport. You will also find that more people up here carry for protection from wildlife than from criminals.

Dave Markowitz said...

The guy who compiled these stats did not have data for AK. Note the date of this post -- it's from 2004. This pre-dates AK's elimination of the permit requirement.

heyrakes said...

two things i wonder about
1. how many people are carrying without a permit
2. how does the factor of the state being an open carry state effect the numbers

Dave Markowitz said...

There's probably no good way to quantify how many good folks are carrying without state sanction. We know plenty of criminals are, regardless of the law.

My suspicion is that the legality of open carry has little impact on who is carrying concealed. Most Americans are going to feel a bit self-conscious about open carry. Depending on where you are it may invite unwanted attention from law enforcement, regardless of the legality. E.g., in Philadelphia it is legal to open carry IF you have a PA License To Carry a Firearm (what PA calls a CCW permit). However, if you do so, Philly cops will give you a hard time.

IMO open carry should be legal but I'd prefer to carry concealed, unless I'm out in the woods.

Anonymous said...

I'm a graduate student working on a research study proposal to look at illegal carrying of firearms (altered shoulder guns and handguns) among urban youth.

I'm posting to see if you can reference me to a site or academic journal which can accurately depict an accurate number of current (valid) concealed permit holders as a total population, not just the states. I've looked to no avail and its driving me nuts.

I ask because utilizing another site's statistics, I drew it up to be roughly 3% of the U.S. population. This is important for me since many studies applying generalizable statistics of youth carrying ranging from 5%-11%. This would be important for me to acknowledge as an argument for research, as I'm working with a vulnerable population and desire to get approval from my University's IRB research board.

For clarification so people don't think I'm a liberal nut, I'm a student at a southern university, my father has a class 3 FFL and I competitively shoot. The reasoning for my research, is to propose a restructuring of methods utilized by law enforcement as to target illegal firearms in urban areas. (It's an interesting subject as although firearm ownership is low in these areas, the rate of firearm homicides are high, and there is a lack of correlation for this, other than the obtainment of illegal handguns via, stolen/straw purchase/cheap hi-point aspects)

(important to note here that any person under 21 carrying a handgun classifies it as illegal, adding that to prevent the 100 posts that would follow if I didn't)

Anonymous said...

@Dave - There are more folks carrying than you would think that are not otherwise criminals. I have conceal carried most of my adult life under almost all circumstances and never had a permit. Beyond that I am a law abiding citizen. Saved me from being robbed or worse once, nor did I have to shoot. The founders recognized that the right to protect ones self is a human right that needed and deserved protection when they wrote the 2nd. As such I have no respect for any laws that would prohibit or tax, distract from, modify that right in any way. I doubt I am alone in this.