North Carolina residents are showing a growing interest in concealed carry, with applications for the state’s permit on the rise several years running.
As of the closure of 2015, 478,334 North Carolinians held CCW permits issued by that state. In demographic terms, one in twenty NC residents may legally carry a concealed handgun. This rate of 5% CCW holders ranks NC 26th in the nation for concealed carry per 100 residents.
Demographics may further explain the explosion in CCW applications. Currently, women comprise only 8% of CCW holders in North Carolina—roughly 37,000 statewide. However, some colloquial evidence indicates that the number of women applying is growing. A CCW trainer from Guilford County notes this trend in his training courses:
“Almost half my classes are female sometimes. We average 40% female.”
Other voices within the NC firearms community note similar trends around both age and gender. Jeff Stucker, who has owned On Target Shooting Range in South Asheville for 20 years, has seen a drastic change in the makeup of his CCW classes.
“The biggest thing I see is it’s all ages now. It used to be 40-50-year-old guys, maybe some in their 20s and 30s. Now, it’s almost as many women taking it as men. That’s the biggest thing — they want it for self-defense for their home or car.”
These numbers are strictly anecdotal, as most sheriff’s departments in NC do not release demographic data about CCW applicants. However, these observations do reflect verifiable trends in the firearms community nationwide.