Twenty-four states currently have Constitutional Carry laws on their books, which allows law-abiding residents of legal age to carry a handgun concealed for self-defense. On Jan. 1, Alabama joins their ranks. Alongside that growing trend, the number of people submitting to additional background checks, investing the time to meet requirements—which vary by state—and pay for a CCW permit has grown again in 2022.
A report issued by the Crime Prevention Research Center explains, “As the United States is moving into a post-pandemic era, the number of concealed handgun permits has continued increasing. The figure now stands at 22.01 million…” There are now six states with more than 1 million permit holders—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas. Ten percent of the adult population in 17 states have one. Slightly more than 29 percent of permits are issued to females, up from the roughly 28 percent in 2021. The state with the most permits, if you’re wondering, is Florida with a total of 2,570,000.
The study found that roughly 488,000 new permits were issued last year nationwide, but notes, “At 2.3 percent growth over 2021, that is the slowest percent and absolute increase that we have seen since we started collecting this data in 2011. Part of that is due to the number of permits declining in the Constitutional Carry states, even though it is clear that more people are legally carrying.”
Other facts uncovered by the organization’s research include Alabama has the highest percentage of permits among adults—32.5 percent. Indiana pulls in a distant second at 23.4, followed by Georgia’s 15.5. Only four states collect information on ethnicity, but the figures show a big increase in minorities carrying for self-defense. The number of black permit holders grew by 150 percent when compared to those listed as “white.” The ratio of Asians with new permits increased by 114.8 percent, as well.