Politics

Record Number of Americans Arm Themselves

Amid threats to safety and gun rights, citizens elect for concealed carry

As the Obama administration angles to holster Americans’ gun rights, a record-breaking number of Americans have acquired permits to carry a concealed weapon in public.

The number of concealed handgun permits has reached at least 14.5 million nationwide, marking a 215 percent spike since 2007, according to a recent report released by Crime Prevention Research Center’s President John. R. Lott Jr.

During Obama’s second term, the number of women with concealed handgun permits increased twice as rapidly as the number of men.

Some attribute the rise in weapon permits to Obama’s repeated gun control threats, prompting multiple law enforcement officials to advise Americans to arm up while they can. But highly publicized lone-wolf terror attacks and rising crime in many urban areas could also be potent contributors to the increased number of Americans packing heat.

The report also pointed to evidence suggesting “that permit-holding is increasing about 75 percent more quickly among minorities than among whites.”

During Obama’s second term, the number of women with concealed handgun permits increased twice as rapidly as the number of men with permits in states that released data by gender.

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Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas each have over 1 million people living in the state with active permits.

Lott noted that as the number of concealed carry permits has surged, the murder rate has declined.

“Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates fell from 5.6 to 4.7 (preliminary estimate) per 100,000. This represents a 16% drop. Overall violent crime fell by 18 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults with permits has soared by 190 percent,” Lott reported.

The report suggests that the administration’s gun control efforts coincided with Americans’ stockpiling permits at a record-breaking rate.

“The increase in the number of concealed handgun permits last year set another record, increasing by 1.73 million. That is slightly greater than previous record of 1.69 million set the last year,” Lott reported.

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