Concealed Carry in the US

Katie is collaborating with Professors Harel Shapira and Ken-Hou Lin to investigate the workings and impacts of concealed carry legislation in the US. Based on this research, they have published an article entitled “Trends and Patterns of Concealed Handgun License Applications: A Multi-State Analysis” in Social Currents (2018). The abstract follows:

Recent waves of legislation have made it much easier for gun owners to obtain a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and thereby carry their guns in public except when explicitly prohibited. Because data are difficult to access, our understanding of who seeks and obtains such licenses remains limited. Utilizing data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, our paper fills this empirical gap by describing demographic trends and characteristics of applicants for CHLs in five states: Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, and Utah. The results establish that (1) applications for CHLs are growing at fast rates; (2) there are significant gender and racial disparities in terms of who applies for CHLs, with men 2.9 to 5.5 times more likely to apply than women and whites 1.3 to 2.0 times more likely to apply than blacks; (3) in Florida and Utah, these demographic gaps have widened over time; and (4) there are significant racial disparities in terms of application outcomes, with black applicants being 3.3 to 5.5 times more likely to be denied a license than white applicants. Moreover, we do not find the patterns in Massachusetts, a may-issue state, to be significantly different from the shall-issue states in our sample.

Dr. Shapira also discusses this research in the New York Times in his op-ed article “Ill-Concealed Prejudice.”