The number of persons in the U.S. with concealed-carry permits continues to surge and has reached an all-time high of 15 million. More than 6 percent of adults in the U.S. have a permit to carry a concealed weapon; in 10 states, more than 10 percent of adults hold concealed-carry permits.

This escalation is particularly compelling given the rising number of states that have adopted “permitless” concealed-carry laws. With such laws passed recently in Missouri, West Virginia, Mississippi and Idaho, 12 states now have some form of law that allows carrying a concealed firearm without a state-issued permit or license.

Yet, contrary to the apprehension and alarm expressed by gun-control groups, this expansion in permit holders and permitless carry laws doesn’t correlate with an increase in violent crime. Permit holders, as a class, tend to be substantially more law-abiding than the general population. The Crime Prevention Research Center notes that the crime rate for the general population is 37 times higher than the rate for police officers, yet concealed-carry permit holders “are convicted of felonies and misdemeanors at less than a sixth the rate for police officers.” Overall, gun crime victimization is substantially lower than it was 20 years ago, while the number of individuals legally carrying firearms has skyrocketed.

The next milestone? Legislation that would respect the rights of individuals who possess concealed-carry permits in their home state, or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state, to exercise those rights in any other state. The concept of national reciprocity of carry permits has been formally endorsed by President Donald Trump, and U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., has already announced plans to push forward a Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 when the new Congress meets next year.

Source: Shooting Illustrated, February 2017