By Dave Workman
While armed Americans have been waiting patiently for the U.S. Senate to dust off the national concealed carry reciprocity legislation passed last year by the House of Representatives, they underscored the importance of such legislation by adding some 890,000 new carry licenses/permits.
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, headed by author/researcher John Lott, there are now an estimated 17.25 million active carry licenses out there, and that number may not accurately reflect the total number of people packing sidearms. Considering that there are more than a dozen “constitutional carry” states where a permit isn’t necessary for carrying a handgun for personal protection, and that boils down to a lot of legal hardware out there.
In my home state of Washington, according to the most recent data from the state Department of Licensing, more than 588,000 citizens have active concealed pistol licenses. Down in Arizona, according to the Department of Public Safety, there were 334,348 active permits when Insider Online checked in preparing this week’s report.
The Michigan State Police figure for Aug. 1 was 639,436 active permits. Four states — Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia — each have more than 1 million active carry licenses/permits.
This year, 15 states report more than 10 percent of the adult population is licensed to carry, and the top of that heap is occupied by Alabama, where an impressive 22.1 percent of adults are heeled. In second place, 17.9 percent of Indiana adults have carry permits and out in South Dakota, 17.2 percent of adults have permits, the CPRC reported.
The remaining states in the Top 15 are in this order, after South Dakota: Pennsylvania (13.49%), Georgia (13.28%), Iowa (12.56%), Utah (12.43 %), Tennessee (12.35%), West Virginia (11.87%), Kentucky (11.38%), Washington (10.45%), Florida (10.44%), Arkansas (10.40%), Colorado (10.34%) and Oklahoma (10.21%).
By no surprise at all, the most difficult places to obtain a carry permit are New York, Maryland, California, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, New Jersey and Hawaii, in that descending order.
Lott revealed in an interview with Fox News that back in 2007, there were 4.6 million people who had carry permits. That translates to a stunning increase in the number of armed citizens, yet during that same time period, homicides actually declined, meaning that the gun control crowd was all wrong when they argued that more guns in private hands would result in carnage.
Actually, more guns in the right hands have not created a problem. Guns in the wrong hands, in places like Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. has been a major headache. But people responsible for that carnage don’t have carry permits; primarily because most of them can’t legally possess firearms at all, much less carry them legally in public.
So what does that tell us? The bulk of those carry licenses were obtained during the anti-gun Obama administration, but the past year’s upward climb suggests strongly that just because he’s been replaced by Second Amendment-friendly Donald Trump doesn’t mean the people are complacent about their own safety.
It also suggests that increasing numbers of people are taking more responsibility for their personal and family protection. While American civilian law enforcement tries to do a good job, they can’t be everywhere at once. You could very well be your own first responder.
Women, Minorities Arming Up
There was more in the CPRC report of significance, especially when it comes to women and minorities.
Between 2012 and this year, according to the report, the number of women getting carry licenses or permits skyrocketed 111 percent faster than for men, and the percentage of blacks with permits grew 20 percent faster than for whites, the report said. Among Asians, the growth rate was 29 percent faster than among whites.
Overall, they are part of the 7.14 percent of American adults with carry permits.
Take A Lesson From Israel
The Times of Israel recently reported that more than 500,000 Israelis qualified for gun permits under “a major reform of the country’s firearms rules” as a means of improving responses to terror attacks.
Under the new rules, according to the report, “hundreds of thousands of veterans of the IDF’s infantry units were eligible for gun permits, along with volunteers in some police and medical organizations, and military officers above the rank of first lieutenant or non-commissioned officers above the rank of first sergeant.
Naturally, the political left didn’t care for the idea at all. The story quoted Tamar Zandberg, who said in a prepared statement that a gun is “a death machine whose civilian use needs to be reduced as much as possible.” Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar?
“Instead of dealing with the tremendous amount of illegal weapons on the streets endangering human lives, they are simply increasing the number of gun permits,” Sandberg added, as the similarity between his argument and something American anti-gunners intensified.
Or Take A Lesson From History
It was Sept. 7, 1876, about 2 ½ months after George Armstrong Custer led several companies of the 7th Cavalry straight into the history books, and about a month after James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok stopped a bullet in Deadwood, S.D. that the James-Younger gang rode into Northfield, Minnesota for a bank heist.
What they got, instead, was shot to pieces by the good — and well-armed — citizens of Northfield and the surrounding countryside who happened to be in town. Clell Miller and Bill Chadwell were graveyard dead before the shooting stopped, and all three of the Younger brothers were pretty well perforated.
Jesse and Frank escaped, while Cole, Jim and Bob Younger ended up in prison; lucky for them Minnesota didn’t have a death penalty at the time.
Whatever else Northfield was, it underscored the necessity of an armed citizenry.
Here’s One Worth Carrying
With all this talk about concealed carry, Auto-Ordnance has exercised what some folks might consider remarkably good timing with the announcement of their new Custom Case Hardened 1911 pistol.
One look at this remarkably handsome rendition of John Moses Browning’s most recognizable guns will convince any fan of the 1911 platform that Auto-Ordnance has produced something special.
The pistol has what Auto-Ordnance says is “a precisely machined barrel.” That translates to accuracy beyond what the original Government Model carried by generations of soldiers and lawmen might have been able to produce without some serious gunsmithing.
Chambered for the .45 ACP (what else?), the Custom Case Hardened 1911 features checkered wood double diamond grips and the U.S. logo. The hammer, thumb safety, grip safety, slide stop/release and mainspring housing all wear the case hardened finish. The front sight is fixed and the rear is dovetailed into the slide, just like on the original. The pistol also has a lanyard ring on the butt. It comes with a 7-round magazine, but we all know it will accommodate an 8-rounder.
It has an MSRP of $1,327.00