Florida nears 1 million permits for concealed weapons

by Michael Peltier, Reuters  |  published on December 14, 2012

concealed weapon

The number of active concealed weapons licenses in Florida, already home to more owners of such registered weapons than any other U.S. state, is expected to reach the 1 million mark next week, a state official said on Wednesday.

Applications for the permits in the state of 19.1 million people have doubled since 2007. Only 0.3 percent of the more than 2 million total permits issued since 1987 have been revoked, said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

“Floridians who are obtaining these licenses are obtaining them for the right reason and are using them in an appropriate way,” Putnam said.

The state processed more criminal background checks for firearm purchases on Black Friday, the busy shopping day that follows Thanksgiving, than any single other day in the state’s history, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said.

Florida has been a bastion for gun owners, with some of the most expansive laws on the books regarding who can carry weapons and when they can be used.

A state law that can make it difficult to prosecute shooters who claim self-defense has come under scrutiny following the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February.

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