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Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2021

John Lott - SSRN  | Published on 10/21/2021
During the Coronavirus pandemic, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared to over 21.52 million – a 48% increase since 2016. It’s also a 10.5% increase over the number of permits we counted a year ago in 2020. Unlike gun ownership surveys that may be affected by people’s unwillingness to answer personal questions, concealed handgun permit data is the only really “hard data” that we have. This increase occurred despite 21 Constitutional Carry states that no longer provide data on all those legally carrying a concealed handgun because people in those states no longer need a permit to carry.

These numbers are particularly topical given that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the concealed carry case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association V. Corlett in November. That case will determine whether those requesting permits need to provide a “proper cause,” which means a good reason for obtaining a permit.