Florida is on pace to become the first state to issue its one millionth active concealed carry permit sometime next week, as more than 167,000 permits are issued each year. Florida has already issued more concealed carry permits than any other state, and is set to become the first to break the one million mark.
To put that in perspective, that means nearly 5.24 percent of Floridians have a concealed carry permit.
Florida also recognizes permits from all other states, so the total number of people in the state with concealed carry permits may actually be higher.
Applications for permits have been booming in recent years. According to USA Today, just ten years ago only 28,000 people a year applied for the license. In 2010 that number hit the 167,000 mark.
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"Floridians who are obtaining these licenses are obtaining them for the right reason and are using them in an appropriate way," Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam told Reuters. He added that just 0.3 percent of the 2.3 million total concealed carry permits issued since 1987 have been revoked.
Despite increasingly harsher federal legislation requiring background checks, Florida has some of the most lax gun laws in the country.
Some speculate that the increase in gun sales in the past four years is connected the fear that president Barack Obama may place tougher federal laws on gun ownership. The administration offered no such proposals during its first time, but the President's Press Secretary noted today in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut that a ban on assault weapons is still "on the table."