To that end, the results of a poll released last week indicate many gun owners who have not yet acquired permits to legally carry firearms for personal protection plan to do so in the near future.
The non-scientific online poll, conducted by Southwick Associates, a firm specializing in hunting, shooting and conservation economics and statistics, found that nearly three of four respondents who consider themselves to be recreational shooters own at least one handgun.
Further, the research revealed that 40 percent of those polled who do not presently possess a permit to carry a handgun plan to obtain one in the next 12 months.
According to Rob Southwick, president of the Fernandina, FL, research firm, the data suggest that, "Interest in CCW could also generate quite a market opportunity for companies that not only make handguns suitable for concealed carry, but also for manufacturers of accessories that serve that same market, such as holster and ammunition makers."
Further, Southwick said the survey results also reveal a growing opportunity for qualified firearms instructors and shooting facilities to provide the necessary training for those interested in obtaining CCW permits.
One need look no further than Texas, which may be poised to substantiate Mr. Southwick's polling data and subsequent predictions.
With more than half the members of the Texas House of Representatives signed on as co-authors of a bill allowing concealed-carry of handguns on state university campuses, approval of the measure appears to be imminent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who himself has a handgun permit, has indicated he will sign the bill into law.
With Perry's signature, Texas—with 38 public universities and more than a half-million students—would become the second state, after Utah, to pass such a broad-based handgun–carry law.
And that could translate into a lot of handguns, carry permits, ammunition, training and shooting in the Lone Star State.