The Crime Prevention Research Center’s 2016 concealed carry study found that—for the second year in a row—a record-setting number of new permits was issued, 1.83 million nationwide. That brings the total number of people in the United States who have one up to 16.36 million, “…a 256 percent increase since 2007,” it states.
The figures dominated the news, especially the fact that 6.53 percent of all Americans now have a permit, but Potter County, PA, deserves some of the headlines. One out of every two adults there holds a concealed carry permit.
With a population reported at 17,093 in 2015, it isn’t home to densely populated metroplexes, but the fact it’s not the least populated region in the state is noteworthy. It covers 1,082 square miles with Coudersport as the county seat and rests in the middle of the border of New York state.
The county has a rich Second Amendment history that stretches all the way back to the American Revolution. It’s named after Gen. James Potter, a Pennsylvania General in the Continental Army and during that conflict volunteers from the region renowned for their marksmanship—the Bucktailed Wildcats—played a critical role in victory.
After Elliot Ness—the G-Man who helped rid Chicago of some of its most notorious mobsters—retired from the FBI, he became one of the county’s more famous residents. He knew a thing or two about armed self-defense against the dangerous criminal element.
Only 14 states provide permit data by gender, but the limited information indicates 36 percent of all permit holders are female. The number of women with one grew 326 percent when compared to their male counterparts, according to the findings.
Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas all have more than 1.2 million residents with concealed carry permits.