Are you packin’?

If so, you’ve got a lot of company!

“Gun control” advocates are avoiding this like an ugly dog: The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) recently released its 2019 update on concealed carry in the United States, and it’s not the kind of news the anti-self-defense crowd cares to acknowledge.

According to the CPRC, the number of people with concealed carry licenses or permits increased by “about 1.4 million.” This spike brought the total estimated number of licensed citizens to 18.66 million, a whopping 304 -percent increase over the past 12 years.

New data from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows more than 18.6 million
private citizens are now licensed to carry in the U.S.

The CPRC was founded, and is now headed by, economist, author and researcher Dr. John Lott. Last month, he was one of the presenters at the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix.

The updated CPRC report estimates that 7.3 percent of American adults are licensed to carry. That percentage tilts upward “outside of the restrictive states of California and New York,” the report says. It’s also tough to get a permit in New Jersey and Maryland, and gun ownership has restrictions in Connecticut, Massachusetts and other Northeast states.

There are now 13 states in which more than 10 percent of adults have carry licenses and permits, according to the CPRC report. Four states — Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas — have more than 1 million permits in circulation and the number surpasses 2 million in Florida. The other states are Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

But the CPRC report admits that its numbers might be a bit fuzzy because 16 states now have what is generically called “constitutional carry,” meaning citizens can tote their defense hardware openly or concealed without a permit. However, there is no certain way to get an accurate number of those people now packing without paper in their wallets.

And here’s a revelation sure to choke some anti-gunners: More than 2.1 million carry permits and licenses have been issued since Donald Trump was elected president.

Women get credit

Insider Online reported a couple of weeks ago about Robyn Sandoval, the Texas mom and gun rights advocate and partner, with Julianna Crowder, in “A Girl and A Gun,” the group promoting “girls night out” gatherings of women at gun ranges around the country.

Crowder and Sandoval may be having an influence. According to the CPRC report, “In 2019, women made up 26.5% of permit holders in the 12 states that provide data by gender. Eight states had data from 2012 to 2019, and permit numbers grew 101% faster for women than for men.”

Increasing numbers of women are “arming up,” and one authority on the subject
is Amanda Suffecool, shown here speaking at the recent Gun Rights Policy
Conference. Suffecool is host and producer of,
and one of the grassroots leaders in the firearms movement.

That is certainly borne out by looking at Washington concealed pistol license data. This correspondent receives monthly reports from that state’s Department of Licensing on the number of active CPLs and it is impressive. The state may lean “blue” politically, but the last report revealed that as of Oct. 1, more than 631,200 people were licensed to carry, and roughly 25 percent are women. In some counties, the ratio approaches 30 percent.

The report further says that black females in Texas “saw a 3.6 times greater percentage increase in permits than white males.”

Minorities are responsible for at least part of the surge, which demonstrates that the firearms community consists of more than just a bunch of aging white guys. According to the report, black citizens in North Carolina got permits “twice as fast as whites.” In Oklahoma, Native Americans have gotten permits at about the same rate.

The report notes, “From 2012 to 2018, in the four states that provide data by race over that time period, the number of black people with permits increased almost 20% faster than the number of whites with permits. Asians appear to be the group that has experienced the largest increase in permitted concealed carry, growing 29% faster than whites.”

Anti-gunners busy in Virginia

The revelation that more than 18.6 million armed private citizens are going about their business makes anti-gunners crazy, and the Giffords PAC is spending big money in Virginia to change that next month, at least in the Old Dominion.

The Giffords website announced a $300,000 advertising campaign to defeat Republican state lawmakers in the Nov. 5 legislative races. Giffords wants to put more gun-control-friendly Democrats in charge, presumably to push an extremist gun control agenda. They were furious when the Republican majority shut down a special session called by Gov. Ralph Northam to push gun control in response to the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

There may be no small irony here. Anti-gunners routinely complain about the “gun lobby” spending loads of cash to influence elections. It must be different when the gun prohibition lobby opens its checkbook.

The Giffords PAC endorsed what it called “41 gun safety champions.”

Bad guys with guns

Admittedly, there are a lot of bad guys with guns in America who should not have them, which is largely why so many good guys in this country are packing heat.

Some of the bad guys are, shall we say, intelligently challenged, but there’s a story out of Great Britain that absolutely takes the award for underscoring the phrase “How stupid is that?”

Bid a belated goodbye to a young fellow identified by the Metro, a British newspaper, as 22-year-old Reece Ramsey-Johnson. Back on Sept. 8, this guy reportedly strolled up to a car filled with other fellows in what was about to become his final earthly act. Ramsey-Johnson was carrying a shotgun, so the guys in the car hastily beat feet, apparently infuriating our protagonist so badly that he slammed at the car’s window with the butt of his shotgun.

That ended badly for Ramsey-Johnson because during his furious rage, the smoothbore discharged and he took the shot square in the chest at point blank range. There will be a full hearing in January, the newspaper reported, but a preliminary hearing held last month at Southwark Coroner’s Court revealed that police have ended the investigation, and they’re not hunting some third-party assailant.