As the popularity of concealed carry and responsible gun ownership rise across the country, you may be wondering which states issued the most concealed carry permits. These states tend to be more friendly toward responsible gun owners. It should come as no surprise that Florida — a.k.a. “the Gunshine State” — leads the pack. See the rest of the top ten states with the most concealed carry permits below.

  1. Florida:  >2.19 million (resident permits only)
  2. Texas:  >1.52 million
  3. Pennsylvania:  >1.42 million
  4. Georgia:  >1.1 million
  5. Alabama:  ~1.09 million
  6. Indiana:  >967,000
  7. Ohio:  >710,000
  8. North Carolina:  >703,000
  9. Utah:  >692,000
  10. Tennessee:  >681,000

Are the Number of Concealed Carry Permits in the U.S. Rising?

Yes, most definitely. According to the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s 2020 report, the number of concealed carry permits rose by 4.4 percent in the last year. During the first eight months of 2020, gun sales were 74 percent greater than the first eight months of 2019. While gun sales set records, the growth in CCW has slowed as many states shut down their issuance of new permits during the Coronavirus pandemic. There are now more than 19.48 million permit holders nationwide. That number doesn’t take into account the people who are not required to obtain a permit to carry in the 16 states that have adopted permitless carry — also known as “constitutional carry.” This means that 7.6 percent of American adults have a permit to carry. Fourteen states have issued permits to more than 10 percent of the adult population, and five states have each issued more than one million permits.

The Changing Demographics of Permit Holders

Also of note is the changing demographics of permit holders. In the seven states where we have data by sex for both 2012 and the latest year 2019/2020, the number of permits increased by 204 percent for women and by 101 percent for men. That’s a 101.2 percent faster rate among women.

Four states have data on permit issuance by race for 2015 and 2019/2020. In these states (Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas) the number of licenses grew 55.6 percent faster for blacks than for whites, while permits for Asians grew 62.9 percent faster.