More than 14.5 million Americans are now licensed to carry a concealed handgun — a jump of 1.73 million in just a year, according to new research that says women and black Americans are among the most eager to sign up.
More than 6 percent of the adult population in the U.S. now has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, according toJohn R. Lott Jr. at the Crime Prevention Research Center. And those who actually carry is likely much higher because nearly a dozen states don’t even require a permit to do so, he said.
Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania each have more than 1 million registered permit holders, while in the smaller states of Indiana and South Dakota, about 15 percent of all adults are permitted.
The numbers come at a time when the gun debate is heating up nationally, with the two major party presidential candidates battling over gun ownership and use. GOP nominee Donald Trump is a concealed carry permit holder himself, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has called for cracking down on firearms ownership.
Several gun control groups either didn’t respond to messages or were too busy with the Democratic convention in Philadelphia this week to be able to review Mr. Lott’s findings.
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