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Concealed Carry Permits Hit New All-time High

The latest report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) shows that not only did nearly two million more Americans obtain their concealed carry permits in 2016 — a new record for the fourth year in a row — but that brings the total to more than 16.3 million U.S. citizens with permits. That’s up from 4.5 million just a decade ago, and means that, on average, one in every 20 American citizens has a concealed carry permit.

Most of the growth is taking place among women and minorities, partly because of concerns about personal safety and partly because of the paradigm shift in favor of the Second Amendment that has been taking place in the United States. Said John Lott, the founder of CPRC and its chief researcher, “It’s pretty much the most vulnerable people in our society who benefit the most from having the option to be able to go and protect themselves.”

The momentum is being helped along by courts’ rulings in favor of freedom to carry, such as the recent federal appeals court ruling in Washington, D.C. that overturned the city’s strict law requiring residents applying for a permit to prove that they had “good reason” to obtain one.

It’s also being given a push by John Stossel’s YouTube video “NYC Government Traumatizes Gun Owners,” in which he describes the horrific treatment law-abiding gun owners undergo when they unknowingly violate one of the city’s strict gun laws.

And former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s determination to slow the momentum favoring concealed carry is also actually helping boost gun sales. He has promised to dump some $25 million into the 2018 political environment through his anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety. The group is joined by Gabby Giffords’ group Americans for Responsible Solutions, and will start “scoring” legislators based on how they vote on gun and Second Amendment issues, much like the NRA has been doing for years. Unfortunately for Bloomberg, an increasing number of Americans are waking up to the fact that crime rates are declining as private gun ownership is increasing, and to the fact the Bloomberg’s anti-gun ideology and his political agenda threaten that private ownership.

There’s another factor at work as well: national reciprocity. Just last week that bill in the House received its 209th sponsor, putting the issue just nine votes away from passage. Each issue supports the other: as Americans exercise their freedom to defend themselves, they like the idea that a license in one state may be good in all states. Just two weeks ago, for example, West Virginia and Wisconsin agreed to recognize each other’s concealed-carry handgun permits, bringing to 34 the number of states with reciprocity agreements.

With increasing freedom to carry comes pressure to allow that freedom in every state. With that freedom, more citizens will likely take advantage, applying for their own concealed carry permits. One hand washes the other, and there’s little that Bloomberg and his money can do to slow the momentum.

This article was originally published at The New American.