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Concealed Carry Firearm Permits Soar More Than 42,000% in Los Angeles, These are The Neighborhoods With The Most Permit Holders

More Angelenos are now permitted to carry concealed firearms in public than ever before. With more people licensed to carry firearms in public than ever before, will L.A. see a rise in shootings and violent crime?

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man with concealed carry permit application and pistol gun firearm

Since the U.S. Supreme Court made it easier for Americans to legally carry concealed weapons in public spaces two years ago, the number of concealed carry permit holders in the city of Los Angeles has skyrocketed.

According to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), before the May 2022 decision, there were only four active permits given out to people in the city.

Today, there are more than 1,700 active permits, a more than 42,000% increase. Thousands of applicants remain on the waitlist and the number continues to grow. 

You’ll find the highest concentration of concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit holders in the west San Fernando Valley, near Granada Hills, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, and Sylmar. On the west side are neighborhoods like Pico Robertson and Brentwood. There’s also a high concentration in San Pedro, according to data obtained from the LAPD by L.A. TACO through a records request.

The data shows that neighborhoods in South L.A., central, and northeast Los Angeles currently have the lowest concentrations of permit holders.

Before the Supreme Court's 2022 landmark ruling, residents of Los Angeles had to show that they had “good cause” to carry a firearm in public, meaning the applicant had to prove they had a substantial reason to conceal carry a firearm. In other words, if you weren’t a retired cop or judge, getting your hands on a concealed carry permit was almost impossible.

To carry a firearm in public in Los Angeles today, you only need to be 21 or over, a resident of the city of Los Angeles, pass a background check, and complete a firearms course. An applicant can be denied if they’re a felon or if they’ve been convicted of a violent misdemeanor offense. Or if they abuse drugs or alcohol. However, discretion over who receives a permit is left up to law enforcement to decide.

The LAPD’s Gang and Narcotics Division processes and issues CCW applications.

According to the LAPD, within the first year of the high court ruling, thousands of Angelenos indicated that they were interested in obtaining a CCW permit. Today, more than 5,800 Angelenos are currently waitlisted for permits, LAPD spokesperson Officer Drake Madison confirmed earlier this month.

Across the state, law enforcement agencies have had trouble keeping up with the growing demand for CCW permits, CalMatters reported.

According to data obtained from the LAPD, as of earlier this month, the LAPD had only issued 247 permits this year.

A department spokesperson said that, on average, the department processes approximately 160 to 180 applicants per month.

At that rate, it could take some applicants years to get approved for a CCW permit.

LAPD Officer Madison told L.A. TACO that “in the near future,” the LAPD is “moving towards using Permitium.” 

As reported by CaltMatters, Permitium is a service traditionally used to help agencies respond to public records requests that many local law enforcement agencies in the state are increasingly using to process CCW applications.

“However, our personnel will continue to be involved in the process,” Officer Madison continued.

More Guns, More Shootings?

A year after the Supreme Court loosened restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in public, then-Chief Michel Moore issued a warning.

“Given the significance of hundreds of CCW permits being issued in the city… it is far more likely that you will come across individuals lawfully carrying firearms than previously,” Moore cautioned in May 2023. “You may see these individuals during the course of a traffic stop or detention.”

Back then, there were a little more than 140 CCW permit holders.

Today, there are over 12 times more people who can carry guns in public in the City of Los Angeles and over 5,000 people on the LAPD’s wait list for permits. That figure doesn’t include the thousands of people who are licensed to carry concealed weapons in dozens of L.A.’s neighboring cities and regions.

With more people licensed to carry firearms in public than ever before, will L.A. see a rise in shootings and violent crime? 

Research on how loosening concealed carry restrictions impacts crime and homicides is inconclusive. 

A 2023 study co-authored by a group of Stanford law professors and a Duke University economist found that states with less restrictive “right-to-carry" laws, tend to see a nine percent increase in violent crime.

The researchers also found that “right-to-carry” laws “increase both the supply and demand for guns used in crime.” Carrying guns outside of your home creates more opportunities for firearm theft, according to the researchers.

On the other hand, some researchers and Second Amendment supporters argue that concealed carry permit holders are less likely to commit crimes. 

A Texas public health study found that concealed carry permit holders are less likely to break the law. However, the same study also found that CCW carriers are more likely to be convicted of specific crimes such as manslaughter or murder.

See how many people are licensed to carry guns in public in your neighborhood.

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