Lott: Women and minorities drive increase in handgun permits

A pro-gun economist and gun researcher said last week that women and minorities drive the ever-increasing demand for concealed carry permits.

Dr. John Lott, popular within the gun rights community for his research linking lower crime rates to lax concealed carry laws, penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday detailing the results of the Crime Prevention Research Center’s annual study on concealed handgun permits.

Lott founded CPRC, a nonprofit research center focusing on gun laws, in 2013. Gun control advocates and others pan his expertise and remain critical of his research methodology.

His latest report gathers data from states regarding the 16.3 million concealed handgun permits active nationwide — an increase of 1.83 million since last year.

Women comprise one-third of permit holders across the 14 states with gender-identifying data available, according to CPRC’s study. In the eight states with data on permits between 2012 and 2016 accessible, Lott said permits for women “soared” 93 percent, compared to just 22 percent for men.

Likewise, according to Lott’s editorial, black permit holders increased 30 percent over whites, now comprising 11 percent of all permit holders.

Consequently, he said, his research and others confirm women and minorities — the most likely victims of crime — benefit the most from carrying a concealed weapon.

“If the media elites spent more time outside their protective bubbles, they might realize how misplaced their fears of permit holders are,” he said. “Police are the most important factor in stopping crime, but the police almost always arrive on the scene after an offense has occurred. In the past few years those who benefit the most from carrying concealed handguns have been getting them.”