Concealed Millions

I missed a tiny tidbit on my first pass through a recent Pew poll covering gun issues. The key paragraph is:

“Among those who own a handgun, about one-in-four (26%) say they carry their gun with them outside of their home all or most of the time, a share that rises to 41% among those who think of their local community as unsafe.”

The number was surprising to me only in that the concealed carry permit holders I know make holstering a standard part of their grooming process. If anything, I thought the rate of daily carry would have been higher.

What does this mean in terms of guns on the street? The number is rather big.

The Crime Prevention Research Center’s current CCW estimate is nearly 17 million permit holders in the United States. This, however, does not include everybody carrying in states where permits are not required, the so-called “constitutional carry” states (a growing base).

The resulting math is simple enough. At any give time of day, there are over four million private citizens carrying guns in public … and without the bloodbath so many in the gun control industry predicted.

This may explain why the polling concerning concealed carry has recently tipped. My on-the-ground experience has been that it takes skeptics in any state that becomes a shall-issue state about 3-5 years before they collectively say “Well, nothing bad happened. Guess it is an OK/good thing after all.”


Concealed Millions — 1 Comment

  1. Hey, one thing you have not mentioned in your articles anywhere is that many, many more people may carry firearms in Texas than will show up in statistics. And the reason is Texas’ Motorist Protection Act (2009, HB 1815).

    This act allows you to carry a concealed weapon in your car as long as you meet 4 conditions:

    The handgun must NOT be in plain view; it must be concealed.
    You are NOT engaged in criminal activity (excluding Class C traffic misdemeanors)
    Federal law does NOT prohibit you from possessing a firearm.
    You are NOT a member of a criminal gang.

    A License to Carry is not required for someone to go anywhere in the State, including down to the local grocery store, with a gun in his car in Texas (as of 2009), so there are many more handguns available in Texas to the general public on the streets OUTSIDE THE HOME than will show up in these studies. In case that was no common knowledge, I just thought I’d pass that along to you.

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