The Washington Monument stands behind thousands of grave markers erected in a mock cemetery on the National Mall in Washington, Thursday, April 11, 2013, to honor the victims of gun violence . (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
There’s an interesting story making the rounds in West Virginia about a reported increase in the issuance of concealed weapons permits across our state. Here’s how it starts:
The number of concealed weapons permits issued annually in West Virginia has more than quadrupled in the past five years.
In 2009, county sheriffs’ departments issued 11,160 permits allowing residents to carry concealed handguns in most public places. In 2013, that number had jumped to 44,981.
The largest increase was from 2012 to 2013, when the number of permits issued annually increased by more than 15,000, up from 29,712 in 2012.
Those numbers, compiled by the West Virginia State Police, are only the permits issued each year. A permit is valid for five years, so the total number of West Virginians licensed to carry concealed handguns is much higher.
Those numbers, compiled by the West Virginia State Police, represent all active permits. The number includes both new permits and renewal permits.
While some may have been revoked or surrendered, a total of 126,514 permits were issued in the five years from 2009-13.
CORRECTION: In Thursday’s West Virginia Press Association article on concealed weapons permits quadrupling over the last five years, it was the total number of active permits that quadrupled over five years, not just new permits, as was incorrectly stated in the article. Renewals are included in that total number of active permits that quadrupled. The numbers represent the total number of active permits.
The story is getting a fair amount of play, in large part because it was reported and written by Kris Wise Maramba for the West Virginia Press Association, meaning it’s likely to start appearing in newspapers around the state (see here, here and here for examples so far). The story shows what is clearly an important and newsworthy trend:
Gazette graphic by Tye Ward