Local Spike in Concealed Permit Applications

Looks like there’s been a jump in permit applications for the county (my the county), and for neighboring Montgomery County. From the Bucks County Courier Times:

Days after the Colorado shooting, applications for concealed weapons permits in Bucks County jumped 20 percent compared to the previous week …

… A total of 28,057 concealed weapon permits were active in Bucks as of July 1, an increase of 2,706 from a year earlier. That number represents about one permit for every 22 residents.

Now if every one of those individual who had a permit did something to help their gun rights, we’d be cruising smooth. But most of them don’t. How do we reach these folks? Clubs have traditionally been a big part of the pro-gun ecosystem, but as I mentioned in a previous post, the shooting culture at clubs isn’t keeping up with the overall gun culture, and young people aren’t joiners. So how does it work moving forward?

16 thoughts on “Local Spike in Concealed Permit Applications”

  1. Not so sure how to get more people involved, but as someone who got their concealed carry this year in Montgomery County, the lack of nearby training facilities/classes is disheartening. Shooting straight at a target inside a range is not sufficient enough. It takes a lot to be confident that you could shoot in under pressure situations. I think owning guns has a stigma attached and the more people talk about it to others, i think the more people will get involved.

  2. Ahh, what a load of crap! These “new” permits are actually being bought by people who already have a permit! Don’t you know that the rate of permit issuance to new people is actually going DOWN? This is a conspiratorial effort by the dwindling numbers of existing permit owners to make it APPEAR that the issuance of new permits is up!

    How long before CSGV, Brady or any of the other usual village idiots actually tries to use this!?

  3. The answer seems pretty clear to me: the Internet. It was sites like Cornered Cat, Oleg Volk ‘s A Human Right, The High Road and Snowflakes in Hell that got me to be someone who didn’t care to an active participant in the process. You go where the people are, and they’re online.

    (Plus, our team is solo much better at new media than the others. Its almost like cheating.)

    1. The problem is that the Internet is lousy for local organizing. I can probably generate hundreds of calls to the Capitol switchboard, but I’d be lucky if I could generate ten to my local critter. The problem with the Internet is all politics is local, and the Internets aren’t as good at developing local civic organization.

      1. The internet isn’t lousy for local organizing… the world wide web is. I’m only 31 myself and grew up with a keyboard under my fingers and have been using the internet regularly since my early teens, but I’ve somehow missed out on the Twitter Revolution and am a pretty weak exploiter of social media.

        But, The Tea Party got organized mostly through the `net. I think the last five-six years show that you can use the internet to organize locally and more importantly coordinate local with the national. The Tea Party, Occupy, the Arab Spring… Hell, Project Chanology!

        We need to take gun rights viral.

  4. what about the training requirements? Why aren’t the folks teaching the concealed carry classes preaching to the masses? Just like the far left utilizes the power of the classroom lecturn to teach to young and impressionable students, why can’t we push the CCW instructors to indoctrinate the newly converted about being involved???

    1. I only can speak based off of the areas I’ve lived, but while some CCW instructors do that, many more I wouldn’t trust to get the word out to shooting newbies in a way that won’t intimidate them, insult their beliefs, or otherwise scare them off.

    2. Preaching during a CCW class strikes me as a bad idea, there’s enough to cover as it is, and enough novices who are near overwhelmed by the big hump that you have to get over to start carrying concealed.

      Perhaps better to say something like, “If you find you … like? this (need better words there), and want to keep it, you might want to join the NRA. Trust me, it’s nothing like the media portrays it to be.”

      I.e. plant the seed, it’s not your job there to make it grow tall.

    3. Just for informational purposes: In PA we don’t have a training requirement.

  5. Just a thought … a couple of decades ago I was a much younger guy interested in guns but not interested in politics or spending money to join some group like the NRA. I did go to a couple of gun shows, though, and I remember noting how the crowds were almost 100% white and 85% older males. And I remember people saying in the news that the “gun culture” was dying and thinking they’re right. And bottom line — I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on guns as I was mostly into my career and hanging out with my friends and meeting women.

    But the thing is … it’s now people of my age who are dominant at gun shows, and joining the NRA, and etc. I don’t think the gun culture is dying out; it’s just we have trouble getting younger people to engage because they have other priorities and less time/money. But if they have an interest now when they get older they will join the NRA and spend more time involved. Taking the place of people like me, who will be even older and probably not as active.

    And in terms of the future … when I work gun shows now the largest single group is still middle aged white males … but by a MUCH smaller percentage. Now I see a lot of women and other ethnicities besides white and the numbers just seem to be growing. Last year I had an extended conversation at a gun show with an older couple of mixed race — who also happened to be gay males (never would have seen them 20 years ago).

    So I’m still optimistic about the future and I think there’s a diverse bumper crop of gun enthusiasts growing up.

    And CCW is still, in my estimation, the biggest deal. I’ve gotten comfortable in openly admitting I have a CCW with about anyone I know, and with my example a number of my friends now have a permit. And since politicians know that taking something away from voters is about the most dangerous thing they can do … well, I think it was a smart strategy to make expanding CCW an NRA priority.

  6. Now if every one of those individual who had a permit did something to help their gun rights….

    (Emphasis added.)

    I sort of say, “who cares?”

    What I care about is what percentage of them do that, and does that change over time, both the percentage getting the licenses and the actions of those after they get their’s.

    One lower bound might be indicated if there’s any data on the numbers that don’t renew, after you control for illness and deaths.

    I also would expect percentages going down coordinating with our winning. I.e. there’s a big difference between today and your getting one in the late ’80s in Florida or the other states that quickly followed, while gun control at the national level was very strong and the Brady Bill and assault weapons bills had not yet passed.

  7. Remember: Dianne Feinstein used to have a carry permit. Don’t assume that everyone that wants to be able to carry concealed wants anyone else to be able to carry concealed.

  8. It’s really hard to get young people to join when the old men roll out the screw you mat with asinine club policies justified my the mythical “it’s for insurance reasons” excuses for why you can’t: draw from a holster, shoot on the move, shoot a rifle while standing or prone, can’t shoot anything other than paper targets (no steel), can’t shoot anything other than slow fire bullseye style, can’t have more than 3 rounds in a magazine, can’t carry a concealed or open firearm on club property. You get the idea. If you want to find a thriving club with growing and younger membership base, look at the clubs that hold USPSA or IDPA shots or other actions disciplines like 3 gun or even steel.

    Running an annual egg shoot for a ham or meat trays is not going draw in new people or new members.

    1. Are their range safety considerations with steel targets?

      There are obviously ones when drawing from a holster, it’s easy to do that in an unsafe manner, especially if it’s natural to sweep a horizontal arc while drawing. E.g. for fanny packs Massad Ayoob recommends orienting yourself so that you draw your gun back and up and then “punch” it forward, that way it’s always pointing down range.

      But obviously this old guard has no interest in accommodating the new. I can wonder, why fight them?

      You’re not going to win, nor are you likely to save the range before they release it from their “cold, dead fingers” (to use a phrase I haven’t heard in a while, which is probably a good thing, a reflection that the threat is less, and/or that people aren’t thinking so much of silly point defenses against the government).

      1. For me, the problem here is the only public range is run by those kind of people… the kind who will sit there and watch you load mags to make sure you don’t put more than 10 in rather than watching the line where people are getting muzzled and fingers are on triggers. There’s no space for input from the public, despite it being a public range, and the only private range is full-up (and expensive to boot, once you wait your three years to get in!).

        I am very lucky that the place we lived when we started shooting was much more approachable. If I’d started shooting down here, well, I don’t know that I would still be shooting!

  9. “Now if every one of those individual who had a permit did something to help their gun rights, we’d be cruising smooth.”

    I am only writing the following because of my Old Guy’s love of telling Old Stories, repeatedly, but. . .

    When I took the Bucks County Sheriff to court over adding an illegal “doctors note” requirement to the application/renewal process, I received exactly one note (this was still in the snail-mail days) saying “Thank you for what you are doing for us.” However, I received several phone calls asking “Any chance you could add my CCW beef to your suit — but keep my name out of it?” That included a call from one very prominent local businessman who could have funded a suit like mine with the money under the cushions of his couch, but “didn’t want to get his name involved.”

    I received not one lousy check for so much as $5 from any individual who was not a close, personal friend. The suit wound up being mostly funded by large clubs in the county, but none of them did so without being solicited, and in a case or two, shamed or brow-beaten into it by representatives of our loosely knit county “sportsmen’s coalition.” What was contributed amounted to roughly $1 a head from the memberships of the participating clubs.

    I have to acknowledge that GOA donated $500 without being asked. The NRA offered to send an “expert witness.”

    The case was resolved by the sheriff unilaterally abandoning his “doctors note” policy on the Friday before the Monday we were to meet in court, while denying my suit had anything to do with it. Technically I “won” but was denied a court decision.

    Later when another sheriff began some irregular CCW practices, I found myself not so motivated to put myself forward on behalf of people who had neither the courage nor the integrity to voluntarily put anything of themselves into a fight, and the situations in some cases went on for years before any positive changes came. Even at the time of my case, there were close to 25,000 CCW holders in the county, but none who were willing to publicly question the sheriff’s homegrown anti-gun policy.

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