Skip to comments.Rick Scott Says Florida Is No. 1 In Concealed Permits
Posted on 08/20/2012 7:21:01 AM PDT by Iron Munro
After yucking it up last week on a Gulf of Mexico fishing trip, Govs. Rick Perry and Rick Scott sat for an interview with Fox News Channel's Your World with Neil Cavuto.
A subject in the conversation: guns.
"We believe in an individual law-abiding citizen's right to bear arms," Scott said. "We have to continue to have this right. We are not going to be taking weapons away from law-abiding citizens of Florida."
Scott then stated an amazing, if true, statistic about gun ownership in the state.
"I mean, I think we have more concealed weapons permits than any other state because Floridians care about their right to bear arms."
With 19 million residents, Florida is the fourth-most populous state in the country so it's no surprise it would be high on a concealed permit list. But is it No. 1 ahead of Perry's Texas, which has 6 million more residents, and California, which is nearly double the size?
Turns out, yes. Scott is correct.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, recently studied the number of active concealed weapons permits by state. Its report is from July and includes concealed weapons permit data as of Dec. 31, 2011, in most cases.
The top 10 of valid permits by state breaks down like this:
1. Florida: 887,000;
2. Pennsylvania: 786,000;
3. Georgia: 600,000;
4. Texas: 519,000;
5. Indiana: 406,000;
6. Washington: 351,000;
7. Utah: 347,000;
8. Tennessee: 341,000;
9. Michigan: 296,000;
10. Virginia: 279,000.
There's two caveats to this list. First, several states, including Florida, allow out-of-state residents to acquire concealed weapons permits. So people living outside of Florida may have a Florida permit. Records don't distinguish by location.
Second, it's worth noting that many states have reciprocity agreements regarding concealed weapons permits, meaning that a Texas license is valid in Florida and vice versa.
We don't think either is enough to question the validity of Scott's remark, however.
Three large states are missing from the Top 10 list. Illinois does not issue concealed weapons permits. California and New York are considered "may issue" states, which gives those states much more discretion over who gets a permit. That in turn makes it harder to get one.
As a result, California has just 35,000 active permits, representing .1 percent of the adult active population, according to the analysis. Florida, a "shall issue" state, had a concealed weapons permit rate of 6.2 percent of its active adult population. Georgia ranks first at 11 percent.
Scott said Florida has "more concealed weapons permits than any other state." A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office study backs Scott up. The state has about 887,000 valid concealed weapons permits, about 100,000 more than the next closest state, Pennsylvania.
We rate this statement True.
States Ranked By Population (2011 est.)
 indicates rank by population
(1) indicates rank by concealed carry permits issued
 - California; Pop. = 37,691,912
 - Texas; Pop. = 25,674,681 (No. 4 in concealed carry permits)
 - New York; Pop. = 19,465,197
 - Florida; Pop. = 19,057,542 (No. 1 in concealed carry permits)
 - Illinois; Pop. = 12,869,257
 - Pennsylvania; Pop. = 12,742,886 (No. 2 in concealed carry permits)
 - Ohio; 11,544,951
 - Michigan; Pop. = 9,876,187 (No. 9 in concealed carry permits)
 - Georgia; Pop. = 9,815,210 (No. 3 in concealed carry permits)
 - North Carolina; Pop. = 9,656,401
 - Virginia; Pop. = 8,096,604 (No. 10 in concealed carry permits)
 - Washington; Pop. = 6,830,038 (No. 6 in concealed carry permits)
 - Indiana; Pop. = 6,516,922 (No. 5 in concealed carry permits)
 - Tennessee; Pop. = 6,403,353 (No. 8 in concealed carry permits)
 - Utah; Pop. = 2,817,222 (No. 7 in concealed carry permits)
Utterly misleading. Utah and Florida are popular states for OUT OF STATERS to get concealed carry permits because their laws are structured in such a way that the permits are good in dozens of states. Utah is the value choice because the permit is relatively easy to get, and inexpensive. Florida’s is a bit stricter and more expensive, but is good in even more states. Classes for Utah CCPs are VERY popular in Illinois, and not because the folks want to carry in Utah, but because they want to carry in Wisconsin.
I have a Utah non-resident permit, but don’t even have a permit for my home state, NY, because of all the hoops. I can carry concealed in something like 32 states, but can’t even own a pistol in my own home. Crazy.
I would not live in a state that does not allow you to own a pistol even in your own home. What is so valuable about living there if the state does this?
St. Petersburg Pravda can’t stand Scott, so they have to make a statement, proven to be true, into a story! All one needs to do is read some of Pravda’s articles produced about Scott, to see how far out of shape they get with him! Keep it up Rick! (Scott, that is!)
I would love to see the numbers for Florida taken a step further.
I want to see the number of concealed carry permits per 10,000 people by counties compared to various types of violent crime (home invasion, armed robbery, rape, murder, etc) per 10,000 people by counties.
That study, IMHO, would put to rest all the liberal/progressive/socialist/dimocrat BS about increased numbers of concealed carry permits will turn our cities into rivers of blood.
What good is your right to carry if you can't get any ammunition? The government is buying it all up.
Ooops. I had not seen the end of the article, where mention is made about out of state permit holders.
Did I miss something?
I didn't see this article as spin in either direction.
If anything I thought it served to accent the general correlation between high per-capita carry permits and states with higher personal freedom, and low numbers of per-capita carry permits and states with high police state/nanny state political cultures.
Of course there are other factors at work but I believe the data confirms that assessment.
I’m proud to see that Pennsylvania has over 6% of its population having CCW (around 10% of the adult population eligible to apply for CCW)
I live in California, and have a Florida license, that means I am counted as part of that total.
This is especially true of the renewal process. Florida's renewal is about as expensive and troublesome as the original application. Utah sent me a one page renewal form which required just a recent passport photo and a credit card number for the $15 charge. Florida's renewal was about $100, required a new fingerprint card (which costs about $30 locally) and I think I had to get the form notarized.
Either is still light-years ahead of Kalifornia. I plan to make my application soon and will expect to spend probably $1000 and be prepared to take my appeals case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Arizona = 4,315,579 licensed drivers.
Yes folks, in AZ, all you need is your AZ driver's license to conceal carry. That makes AZ the concealed carry permit capital of the U.S. - and maybe the world!
Heck, you can throw in Idaho for that matter. It has CCW without a permit as well. There are 921K licensed drivers there (assuming the same rules as Arizona).
FL may have slightly more concealed carry permits than PA, but we have the biggest gunstore in the world by volume, Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA.
Cabela's - my favorite.
Been dealing with them for years by mail
Wouldn't mind visiting the store.
Love Cabela’s. Sold some tech shares which have been dead money and moved it into Cabela’s recently. Figured if they were doing this well in a crappy economy they will do well in an upturn should one come along.
An anti-gunner did more or less what you suggested.
He did a county by county study of the entire US, comparing gun ownership to crime rates in every county.
When he was done, he wrote a book about the results.
Former anti-gunner John Lott wrote, “More Guns, Less Crime”.
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