Concealed Gun Permits Soar In Some States, Causing Law Enforcement Concern


More Americans are getting permission to carry firearms in public—and under their clothes—a development that has prompted concern among law-enforcement authorities, reports the Wall Street Journal. Applications for “concealed-carry” permits are soaring in many states, some of which recently eased permit requirements. The numbers are driven in part by concern that new gun-control efforts could constrain access to weapons, along with heightened interest in self-defense after mass killings in Newtown, Ct., and Aurora, Co.

Since July 1 of last year, Florida has granted more than 173,000 new concealed-carry permits, up 17 percent from the year before and twice as many as five years ago, for a total of about 1.09 million permits. Ohio is on pace to nearly double last year’s 65,000 new permits. Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wyoming and Nebraska all have nearly matched or surpassed last year’s totals with half of 2013 still to go. Cook County, Il., Sheriff Thomas Dart said that although the effect on crime is disputed, more people carrying guns “makes our job more difficult.” Economist John Lott said data show concealed-carry laws reduce violent crime. The National Research Council has disputed links between concealed-carry laws and drops in crime.

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