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Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2023

John Lott - Crime Prevention Research Center | Published on 1/15/2024
Despite the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen affirming a constitutional right to bear arms, there hasn’t been a huge surge in the number of Concealed Carry Permit holders across the United States. Instead, it dropped slightly, down 0.5% from 2022 record high to 21.8 million. A major cause of the marginal decline is that 27 states now have Constitutional Carry laws after Nebraska’s Permitless Concealed Carry law took effect on September 2, 2023. In other words, people in those twenty-seven states are allowed to carry concealed handguns without permits, representing 65% of the land in the country and 44% of the population in 2022. 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, but it becomes a less accurate measure as more states become Constitutional Carry states.