New Report Shows 18.66 Million Concealed Carry Permit Holders in 2019

New Report Shows 18.66 Million Concealed Carry Permit Holders in 2019

Criminals take note. There are now 18.66 million people that have a concealed carry permit or license in the United States. This stat is from the Concealed Carry Report for 2019 by the Crime Prevention Research Center.

18.66 million concealed carriers. That’s a big number. But what exactly does that mean and how accurate is it?

On one hand, this number doesn’t reflect are the 16 states that have constitutional carry. Concealed carry permit numbers might be down in some of those states since people don’t need a permit to carry concealed anymore. But on the other hand, some state’s non-resident permits could be for people that have multiple permits. These are just two factors that affect the accuracy of the 18.66 million number. But this report is going off of hard numbers they were able to get from the state and local permitting offices.

The report documents the growth of concealed carry permit holders and the correlation between the number of permit holders and crime rates. It also lists the growth numbers broken down by sex and race using data that gave specific demographics.

Now 18.66 million permit holders may sound like a lot and that is up 1.4 million from 2018. But I wanted to know what percentage of civilians are taking their personal protection in their own hands every day. Well, they give us those stats as well. Here’s how they break it down.

  • 30% of American adults say that they own a gun (per Pew survey)
  • 72% of the people who own a gun say they own a handgun or a pistol
  • 11% of handgun owners say that they carry all the time, 26% say they carry most or all the time and 57 percent say that they carry at least some of the time.

With a little multiplication, we find that:

  • 2.4% say that they carry all the time.
  • 5.4% carry most or all the time.
  • 12.3% carry at least some of the time.

To summarize, the total number of permits in the US is at least 17.25 million. Add in people who legally carry without a permit, and the number clearly becomes much larger. While 7.3% of the adult population has permits, the percentage of Americans who say that they carry most or all the time is about three quarters as large at 5.4%.

What does this mean in practice? It means that in most places where people are allowed to carry a concealed handgun, there will be someone carrying a concealed handgun. If the probability that any one person has a concealed handgun permit is 5.4%, in a room with 10 people (assuming that the probabilities are independent), the probability that at least one person will have a permitted concealed handgun is 43%. In a room with 20 people, that probability goes up to 67%. With 40, that probability rises to 89%.

To view the full report, click here.

So, it is getting to a point where there’s a very good chance someone is carrying a gun wherever you are legally allowed to carry a gun.

But I know one thing. There’s a 100% chance that someone is carrying a gun were legally allowed to carry wherever I go. That’s because I’m the one taking my personal protection in my own hands.

If you are reading this and don’t have a concealed carry permit or license yet, go out, get your concealed carry permit and get some training. Don’t leave your personal protection and safety in the hands of someone else.

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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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