Concealed Carry Permits Continue to Rise during COVID

It’s no surprise that everyone is concerned more than ever about their personal safety. With COVID-19 lockdowns followed by BLM and Antifa rioting, civil unrest is a continued threat no matter where you live, even if you mind your own business. But while the current situation has certainly led to an increase in concealed carriers, the trend has building for several years and is likely to rise even higher in the foreseeable future. In fact, according to a report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of adults with concealed carry permits has increased by 34% in the past four years.

The percentage increase translates to 19.48 million new permits – over 820,000 more than in 2019 – since President Trump took office in 2016. For the first three years of this surge, permits were easy to get and quick to process. However, with lockdowns and restrictions in place since the spring of 2020, plus a record number of new gun sales – nearly 3 million in July alone – many permit holders have waited for their permit to be processed for months after taking their state-required classes.

Fortunately, many states have moved to a permitless carry, so at least these new gun owners were not left entirely vulnerable while they waited on their permits to process. According to Lott’s report, “Seventeen Concealed carry permit holder number are way up, which means we only grow stronger. states no longer provide data on all the people who are legally carrying a concealed handgun because people in those states no longer need a permit to carry.”

Of particular note, the CPRC’s John Lott found that the biggest percentage increase in concealed carry applicants was in with women and minorities. “Permits for women and minorities continue to increase at a much faster rate than for either men or whites,” he said.

According to the Washington Examiner article, nearly 10% of the 209 million adults in the US have concealed carry permits. The article went to point out several key 2020 figures:

  • Alabama has the highest concealed carry rate at 28.5%.
  • Indiana is second with 18.7%.
  • Five states now have over 1 million permit holders.
  • As the number of permits have gone up, violent crime has decreased slightly.

The current climate continues to create an overwhelming demand for firearms. Most ammunition manufacturers can barely keep up with orders, and finding ammo at your local gun store is all but impossible. According to Bearingarms.com, “Compared to September of 2019, NICS checks increased from 2,207,312 to 2,892,115, which makes last month the busiest September in the 22-year history of the instant check system.”

At the current sales rate, it is possible that 2020 could see double the total gun sales that we saw in 2019, with a large percentage of those sales going to new concealed carry holders. ~ David

David Workman
David is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. In addition to being an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and RSO, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as you possibly can. "Real life shootouts don't happen at a box range."