A new report reveals that despite some states getting tougher on gun control, the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed firearms has spiked in recent years.
According to data from the Crime Prevention Research Center, there are nearly 19.5 million people in the U.S. with concealed carry permits, showing exponential growth in recent decades.
“There were 2.7 million concealed handgun permit holders in 1999, 4.6 million in 2007, 8 million in 2011, 11.1 million in 2014, and now 19.48 million in 2020,” the report says.
The report states that among adults in the U.S., 7.6% now hold concealed carry permits, and this does not account for those living in the 16 states that do not require concealed carry permits. This is despite continued restrictions against concealed carry in both California and New York. Taking those large populations out of the equation, the report says, the percentage of adults with concealed carry permits rises to approximately 9.2%.
Nino Bosaz, the New York-based editorial director of Athlon Outdoors, told Fox News in May that it is extremely difficult for New York City residents to acquire a concealed carry permits.
“The initial application usually results in a denial that must then be appealed,” Bosaz said. “The city does not generally recognize an individual right to carry outside the home, and tie the carry license to a business, where the applicant must prove a ‘justifiable need’ to carry concealed.”
Bosaz identified three ways to show a “justifiable need.”
“No. 1 is proof that you regularly carry a significant amount of cash or jewelry as part of your business and can document it to the NYPD’s satisfaction,” Bosaz explained. “No. 2 is a recent, documented death threat that NYPD deems credible. The death-threat justification seems to be a completely subjective decision that many observers would make different conclusions on.”
No. 3, Bosaz said, is to be what the governing authority classified as a celebrity.
In California, residents must go to their local sheriff’s office or police department to find out their specific requirements. In Los Angeles County, for example, applicants must show good cause and go through firearm training.
The significant rise in nationwide permits could have been even higher if not for the coronavirus pandemic. According to the report, permit issuance slowed despite a rise in gun purchases as 13 states including Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania ceased issuing new permits for months due to issues related to the health crisis.
As the number of concealed carry permits has sharply risen, the report says, the murder rate has gradually decreased. The report recognizes that there cannot be an assumption of a correlation between the two, but it does note that a rise in concealed weapons has not resulted in a rise in the murder rate.
Fox News’ Hollie McKay contributed to this report.