WGOL
Listen Live
Local Weather
Russellville, AL
43°

Concealed weapons permits on the rise

By the millions, more Americans are applying for concealed weapons permits and it comes as no surprise that Alabamians are at the top of that list.

A recent study completed by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that the number of Americans with concealed weapons permits increased by 1.83 million people in 2016, to a total of 16.3 million permit holders.

The study shows that number to be a 256 percent increase from 2007 numbers.

Alabama has the highest rate of any state per capita for the numbers of permits issued. The study finds 20 percent of the adult population in Alabama holds permits. The next highest percentage is Indiana, with 15.8 percent of adults having a concealed weapon permit.

According to Tim Schmidt, founder and president of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, a pro-gun rights group, the reason for the increase is just what you might expect—protection.

More Americans are feeling the need to be able to protect themselves, to be able to be that first line of defense,” Schmidt said. “The figures show that the largest increase in concealed weapons permit holders is among women and minorities.

So we are seeing people that you normally wouldn't consider as maybe having a concealed weapons permit, those people are applying for and receiving the permits in larger and larger numbers. I don't think you will see the numbers of permit holders decreasing any time soon. I think you will see this trend of permit numbers increasing continue for the next several years,” Schmidt added.

Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver estimates the percentages of adults in Franklin County with concealed weapons permits is even more than the state average of 20 percent. The department began selling multi-year permits in 2013, so while the total of permits sold has declined each year, the total number of permit holders continues to increase.

In 2016, Oliver said his department issued 1,636 permits for concealed carry and to possess a pistol in a vehicle. Alabama law does not require a permit for open carry.

We hear so much in the media about shooting these days and there's so much uncertainty in society,” Oliver said of the reason for so many permits. “People are looking for that additional protection for themselves and their families,” he added.

The U.S. Concealed Carry Association provides education, training and self-defense insurance to responsible, American gun owners. The organization is based in West Bend, Wisc., and is the largest and fastest-growing member-owned private association whose focus is the responsibly armed American.

comments powered by Disqus
Copyright © 2017 Franklin Free Press All Rights Reserved.
Designed and Hosted by RiverBender.com
113 Washington Ave. NW | Russellville, AL 35653 | 256-332-0255