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Concealed Carry Permits in Los Angeles Surge by Over 42,000%

LOS ANGELES, CA – In Los Angeles, the number of individuals licensed to carry concealed firearms has risen dramatically following a 2022 Supreme Court decision that made it easier for Americans to carry concealed weapons in public spaces. From a mere four active permits before the decision, Los Angeles now has over 1,700 active concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit holders, marking an increase of more than 42,000%. An additional 5,800 applicants are currently on the waitlist.

The highest concentration of CCW permit holders is found in the west San Fernando Valley, specifically in areas like Granada Hills, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, and Sylmar. Other neighborhoods with significant numbers of permit holders include Pico Robertson, Brentwood, and San Pedro. In contrast, neighborhoods in South L.A., central, and northeast Los Angeles have the lowest concentrations of permit holders, according to data obtained from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

This data, revealing detailed statistics on the distribution of CCW permits by zip code, is publicly available for scrutiny through a user-friendly table hosted by L.A. TACO. This resource allows residents to explore how many of their neighbors might be legally carrying concealed weapons, adding a new layer to the community dynamic.

The criteria for obtaining a CCW permit in Los Angeles are straightforward. Applicants must be over 21, residents of the city, pass a background check, and complete a firearms training course. Disqualifications apply to felons, those convicted of violent misdemeanors, and individuals with a history of drug or alcohol abuse. The final say on issuing a permit rests with law enforcement, with the LAPD’s Gang and Narcotics Division handling the processing of applications.

With the significant rise in permit holders and the backlog of applicants, it is important to recognize the positive role of law-abiding concealed carry holders in community safety. After the Supreme Court’s decision, then-Chief Michel Moore of the LAPD highlighted the likelihood of more frequent encounters with legally armed individuals, even during routine police stops, emphasizing the need for awareness rather than concern.

Studies on the impact of more permissive concealed carry laws present a mixed picture; however, it is crucial to note that CCW permit holders are typically responsible citizens. Research consistently shows that individuals with concealed carry permits are among the least likely to commit crimes. This supports the argument that responsible gun ownership by law-abiding citizens contributes to public safety.

As Los Angeles adapts to a higher prevalence of concealed carry among its residents, it is essential to focus on the facts about who is legally carrying firearms. The increased presence of CCW holders, who are vetted through background checks and training, could potentially deter crime. As the city moves forward, the actual effects on the crime rate and community safety will be monitored, acknowledging the evolving dynamics of public safety and personal protection in Los Angeles.

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