Florida Leads the U.S. in Concealed Firearm Permits, Texas Somehow Far Behind

Florida is slated to become the first state with one million concealed firearm permits, Bloomberg reported yesterday. State officials issued 993,200 active permits as of Nov. 30, and are expected to pass the one million mark next week.

“Floridians have a great respect and appreciation for their Second Amendment rights,” said Adam Putnam, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture and consumer affairs.

This got me thinking about the Texas number. So I called the state department of public safety, and they sent me to their website (technology!). The numbers aren’t exactly apples-to-apples (the newest Texas numbers are for last year), but they still paint a picture where, despite all the Second Amendment bluster statewide, Texas actually trails Florida by a significant amount.

2011: 518,625 (total permits, statewide)
2010: 461,724
2009: 402,914
2008: 314,574
2007: 288,909
2006: 258,162
2005: 248,874
2004: 239,940
2003: 239,863
2002: 224,172

That 2003 to 2004 jump (only 77 new permits) seems suspect, but the others seem to jibe with the Florida growth trend of a near doubling of permits over four full years. Texas is actually fourth nationwide, behind Florida, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, according to the GAO.

I then checked this year’s applicants, by zip code, to see where they were from. The top 10:

77379 (Spring): 761 approved applicants
77573 (League City): 706
77429 (Cypress): 688
77584 (Pearland): 613
77346 (Humble): 551
75052 (Grand Prairie): 549
77546 (Friendswood): 532
77494 (Katy): 526
76028 (Burleson): 522
77095 (Houston): 520

Moral of the story? Stay out of the Houston suburbs.


  • TheSlowPath

    Interesting note, however. There’s a pretty big racket with Florida CHLs, because you don’t have to be living IN the state to get one. In fact a lot of Texan’s get a FL CHL and can carry here because of the reciprocal agreement TX has with FL. And since the FL CHL requires only a 4 hour class (instead of Texas’s 10) and no shooting test (Texas requires a 50 round shooting test with a minimum score), it looks pretty attractive. Every gun show I’ve been to has at least one booth peddling this workaround.

    But I’ve also talked to a few Rangers and other LE, and most of them suggest that carrying a FL CHL, while legal, would open the holder up to more civil, and possibly criminal, liabilities if they ever had to use it; particularly because of the lack of a shooting proficiency test.

    • BradfordPearson

      Thanks for this note. I couldn’t properly articulate this (I tried, then erased it), and hoped someone wiser would come along and explain it. Kudos.

  • dkv

    I’m not surprised, the FL CHL is much easier to acquire. Anyone who has passed a hunter eduction or NRA safety class can apply for $120. TX requires a separate 10 hour CHL training course including a range portion, making it more expensive and more time consuming to apply.

  • Don in Fort Worth

    Actually, the moral is: do indeed hang in the Houston suburbs unless you plan on pulling some nasty stunt.

    • BradfordPearson


  • Dubious Brother

    There are over 1,000,000 Cuban exiles in Florida. I suspect that the families have passed down from generation to generation the need to not be caught without the ability to defend yourself. They understand the meaning of the second amendment.

  • RetMSgt

    And up here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we’ve got approximately 720,000 active licenses. Now you have to apply in person (and if you’re from out-of-state you need a copy of your state’s license/permit), but ours is only $20.00 for five years, requires no fingerprints, no written test, no course of study and no hands-on shooting proficiency.

    Come in, fill out the one-page application, fork over your money, and, with luck, you can be walking out the door in as little as fifteen minutes with your license.