A report released Friday finds that the number of concealed carry gun permits in the country rose 10.5% in the last year, growing to more than 21 million people.
The report, issued by the Crime Prevention Research Center, finds that the number of people getting concealed carry permits has increased by 48% since 2016, and grew by 10.5% amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the last year.
The 10.5% increase in the last year translates to a record 2 million new permits, compared with the prior year's record of 1.8 million new permits, according to the report.
Outside of the severely restrictive states of New York and California, 10% of adults in the nation have a concealed carry permit, although that number comes down to an average of 8.3% when those two states are factored in.
In 21 states, laws known as ''constitutional carry'' enable citizens to carry concealed guns without a permit at all.
Fifteen states have more than 10% of their respective populations with a permit, with Alabama leading the way with 32.1% percent of adults in that state carrying concealed, the report said.
Six states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas — each have more than 1 million people with concealed carry permits.
Women carrying concealed guns rose overall during the pandemic by around 2%, with 14 states having 28% of their permits going to that gender, compared with 26% in 2020, according to the report.
Comparatively, permits for women grew 108.7% faster for than for men during the period.
The increase in permits and numerous states passing laws to make carrying a gun easier come as the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case next month, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett, where the high court will weigh in on whether people seeking concealed carry permits need to show ''proper cause'' to get a permit.
While there has been a slight uptick in the rates for violent crime and murder in the last year (around 1%), the number of people getting concealed carry permits has risen exponentially, from 4.6% in 2012 to 8.3% in 2020, according to the report.
The surge in permits is also tracking with an increase in gun sales in 2020 and the first seven months of 2021, increasing 13% year-over-year, and breaking records from the prior years since records started being kept in 1999.
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