View Poll Results: How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

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  • 1 to 5,000

    3 7.14%
  • 5,001 to 10,000

    9 21.43%
  • 10,001 to 20,000

    3 7.14%
  • 20,001 to 30,000

    3 7.14%
  • 30,001 to 40,000

    4 9.52%
  • 40,001 to 50,000

    2 4.76%
  • 50,001 to 100,000

    3 7.14%
  • 100,001 to 200,000

    1 2.38%
  • 200,001 to 300,000

    1 2.38%
  • Over 300,000

    13 30.95%
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Thread: How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

    What's your best estimate?


    Most of the open carry is done in Virginia. That's where the action is right now in the spread of OC. But AZ, ID, IN, etc. have had OC for a long time. We know from posts here that many (not all) of the OCDO members do open carry. And we know that OC is growing in popularity. But how big is the OC contingent right now?
    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?


  2. #2
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    Like most of your polls, what's the point of this useless conjecture? How many do YOU think?
    -Unrequited

  3. #3
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    My son carries in Florida and there are a LOT of carry permits issued there. They have the stats on their pages. In Florida, you can carry knives, nunchucks, firearms, you name it. No rocket launchers, however. I do not know the answer to your question specifically, but my sense it may be over 300,00 total, but not sure. There are about 40 carry states or so. We are talking basic civil right here and the right to self-defense. I am NOT recommending this for others, but for myself, IF I lived in D.C., I would have a modern firearm and ammunition. IF I had to use it in self-defense in my own home, the LAST thing I would worry about was an unconstitutional law denying citizens their 2nd amendment guarantee.

    Note added: See http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/news/reports.html

    There are 439,082 CONCEALED carry permits in Florida as of 7-31-07, not sure about open carry, or how to accurately measure it for different states. You would have to start by determining which states DO permit open carry. To that number, you would probably have to add all the fishermen who carry when out on the water, etc., that is open carry and permitted in a lot of states. They may or may not have a carry permit, not required to in many states.

    There are 586,654 total firearm permits in Florida as of 7-31-07. The problem is that open carry is not always permitted, so again, very hard to estimate open carry. You would have to make some reasonable assumptions to calculate a tentative number for various states that permit open carry and add them up.

  4. #4
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    Tough question. I generally have a gun with me, or in my vicinity, but not necessarily strapped on. When I worked for my last employer, guns were prohibited on the property. I generally stuck mine in the trunk upon arrival, and retrieved it before I got in the car to leave for the day. It would sit on my passenger's seat until I got home.

    It's HOT in AZ for a lot of the year, and I like to wear shorts. Most of my shorts are not conducive to wearing a holster, so if I'm just running to the store for milk or something, I'm probably not going to change clothes just so I can wear a holster.

    If I'm going to the ATM after dark, on the other hand, I will do that.

    I'd say I'm actually carrying well under 10% of the time.

    If there are 400,000 carriers, and they all only carry <10% of the time, how do you count that? 40,000 carriers?

  5. #5
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    I choose D: Not Enough!

    LoveMyCountry

  6. #6
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    LoveMyCountry wrote:
    I choose D: Not Enough!
    I would have put that one in the choices--but everyone would have picked it!



  7. #7
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    mzbk2l wrote:
    Tough question.

    Yep, it's a bit tricky. One has to think about it. But it's often beneficial to know the scale or intensity of a phenomenom. For example, nobody really knows how many CCers there are. But we do know that there are 4 million LTCF/CWPs out issued. (The number is increasing, of course.) So that 4 million number pretty much bounds the CCer number. My guess is that there are probably about 2 million CCers out there in the U.S.

    Almost certainly, the total number of CCers out there (if we could know or estimate it) gives guidance in guessing at how many OCers are out there...



    mzbk2l wrote:
    If there are 400,000 carriers, and they all only carry <10% of the time, how do you count that? 40,000 carriers?
    Well, I'd suggest a loose definition. Just to kick it around a bit. Tbe definition can always be tightened up later.

    Someone who OCs repeatedly is an OCer. Either every day, most often, once every week, etc. And I'd say that someone who OCs only twice per year would not be an OCer...

    So, one way to estimate an answer to this poll's question is to identify the number of CCers (x), then come up withyour estimate of theratio of CCers to to OCers (y).

    Then solve for y.




  8. #8
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    HankT wrote:
    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

    What's your best estimate?


    Most of the open carry is done in Virginia. That's where the action is right now in the spread of OC. But AZ, ID, IN, etc. have had OC for a long time. We know from posts here that many (not all) of the OCDO members do open carry. And we know that OC is growing in popularity. But how big is the OC contingent right now?
    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

    Should we (you) specify if inside or outside of their homes (ie those poor souls who live in Jersey)?

    It is also rather ironic that you of all people are asking this question, since we here at OCDO don't even know if you OC. We know you carry most every day and that you are in favor of OC but you've never answered the question, do you, HankT, open carry (outside of your house, off your property)??


    Oh, I voted 5-10k people.

  9. #9
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    Interesting question. Not sure how one might estimate that short of some statistically relevant polling. The majority of non-LEO/security/military carriers primarily do so concealed. Even most shop owners who "pack" either keep one near at hand and not necessarily on their persons, or wear it concealed. Likewise, criminals don't open carry and home-protection guns are typically not worn. I'd say that it's orders of magnitude apart - CC vs. OC. A thousand to one, perhaps? Just a wild guess.

    -ljp

  10. #10
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Reverend73 wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

    What's your best estimate?


    Most of the open carry is done in Virginia. That's where the action is right now in the spread of OC. But AZ, ID, IN, etc. have had OC for a long time. We know from posts here that many (not all) of the OCDO members do open carry. And we know that OC is growing in popularity. But how big is the OC contingent right now?
    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

    Should we (you) specify if inside or outside of their homes (ie those poor souls who live in Jersey)?

    It is also rather ironic that you of all people are asking this question, since we here at OCDO don't even know if you OC. We know you carry most every day and that you are in favor of OC but you've never answered the question, do you, HankT, open carry (outside of your house, off your property)??


    Oh, I voted 5-10k people.
    Nah, c'mon, let's use the logical basis for OC that we all talk about here. Out and about in the real world. That includes NJ only if it is legal there. The poll was intended to be reasonably interpreted. It's just a discussion generator. But the import of the number, whatever it is, and your guess might very accurate, woud be beneficial to consider in many of the discussions here about OC.

    Note to un: Weather in Lincroft, NJ ishot again. Beenreally badfor 3days now. Of course, it's summer, so that might have something to do with it.

    I voted 10k to 20k, myself.

    BTW, Reverend73, as I've said before, I pretty much answered your question in the Does HankT Actually OC? thread, a while back.

  11. #11
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Legba wrote:
    Not sure how one might estimate that short of some statistically relevant polling.
    I do. You need a simple random sample. But it needs to be aBIG sample to get a high enough confidence level. Specialized sampling techniques, i.e., cluster sampling can also be used but then it gets much harder.


    Legba wrote:
    The majority of non-LEO/security/military carriers primarily do so concealed. Even most shop owners who "pack" either keep one near at hand and not necessarily on their persons, or wear it concealed.... I'd say that it's orders of magnitude apart - CC vs. OC. A thousand to one, perhaps? Just a wild guess.

    I'd say you are right. Many orders of magnitude.

    1,000 CCer to1 OC ratio? Hmmm....maybe.

    With about 4 million-plus CWP holders, that would come out to about 2,000 to 4,000 OCers (depending on how much one estimates actual CCis vs. CWP holding).

    Maybe.

    I don't think it's quite that low. Maybe 700-800 to one. SWAG.




  12. #12
    Regular Member reefteach's Avatar
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    Now that we have preemption, OC is catching on in Ohio. ohioccwforums.org just added a section on open carry to handle the increased discussions.

  13. #13
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    reefteach wrote:
    Now that we have preemption, OC is catching on in Ohio. ohioccwforums.org just added a section on open carry to handle the increased discussions.
    Ohio is indeed another hot spot for progress in CC/OC. I appreciate the work that advocates are doing there, especially the BFA. Those guys know what they're doing. Pretty darn good for the rust belt...

  14. #14
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    Reefteach that is a great idea for an avatar. Man wish I had thought of that moron.

    Uh....... That was not you was it ?



    I personally wish this locality ability to limit OC would go away. This side of the street is ok but on that side it is a crime. Blah Blah Blah. If you can have a gun you should be able tokeep it with you at all times.

    If some people can wearpants half way down the crack and offend me. I should be able to wear my px4 and offend the antigun loonies.

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    Do you consider LEOs 'people' in your poll? If so, the number is very high... if not, perhaps the question should read: "How many private citizens choose to legally open-carry their personal firearms on their own time?"

  16. #16
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    molonlabetn wrote:
    Do you consider LEOs 'people' in your poll?
    No.

  17. #17
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Reverend73 wrote:
    Oh, I voted 5-10k people.

    Looks like most people agree with you, R73. I voted the next level up, 10-10K.

    I can't figure out why so many (7) people voted that more than 300K are OCing. That's beyond optimistic exaggeration. That's like the Million Mommers estimating attendance at one of their marches. :P

    You may very well be right, R73. Let's say it is at about the midpoint for your selection. So,8K. Nationally.


    Although it is an important group, the question has to come up:

    How much political heftcan aspecial interest group of 8,000 have in thenational or even state context?

    Another question:

    How fast can the concept of open carry diffuse inthe U.S. (or an individual state)from a base of8,000?

    The answers to both of these questions would inform greatly on the future of proliferation of OC in American society. Is the outlook for such proliferation bright and positive? Or bleak?

    If you think about it a little bit you make come to some general conclusions about OC.

  18. #18
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    Well, according to...
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/lawenf.htm

    In 2004 there were more than 800,000 full-time sworn law enforcement officers in the United States
    We'll say.... half of them are desk jockeys, clerks, undercover, etc. Probably not doing the OC thing much.

    (+400,000)

    Add to that over 2 million active and reserve military members, cut that by a large fraction, and you've still got over 200,000.

    (400k +200k)

    I also consider jets, helicopters, gun boats and armed HMMWV drivers to be OCing, though. They were not included, because I noticed I was already at DOUBLE the 300,000 mark, and I'd not even gone to civilians yet.

    So yeah, I voted for over 300,000.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  19. #19
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    HankT wrote:
    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?

    What's your best estimate?


    Most of the open carry is done in Virginia. That's where the action is right now in the spread of OC. But AZ, ID, IN, etc. have had OC for a long time. We know from posts here that many (not all) of the OCDO members do open carry. And we know that OC is growing in popularity. But how big is the OC contingent right now?
    How many people currently open carry in the U.S.?
    What ever the number isHankT, we know you are not among he ranks.

    If you were then that would be real news. :what:

  20. #20
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    Most in va? w00t!!!!

    My initial responce to the title of this thead was "not enough"

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Interesting question actually and one for which I've never seen good stats, but then, if there were good stats out there the posed question would be moot. However, I wonder if the more interesting question is how many people would open carry if it were legal. Prior to 1987 how many people CC'd? A LOT more people OC'd than CC'd prior to Florida starting the CC revolution simply because CC was prohibited almost everywhere. Now we have states with permissive CC laws and restrictive OC laws. I would find it more interesting to know how many people start to OC after permissive preemption OC laws pass.

    If we extrapolate from FL's CC numbers we see that about 2.5% of the population CC where permitted. I wouldn't be surprised if that was pretty applicable to most states, excluding, as usual when rights are concerned, the Northeast and West Coast states where, while CC is legal, it is nearly impossible for a private citizen to obtain such permit. In some areas that percentage is going to be much higher, such as in my county where, according to discussions with Sheriff's officer personnel, they have processed permits equal to nearly 1% of our county's population in the first 7 months of 2007. I would expect that we probably have about 5% of our county population with CC license. I know numerous people who are so licensed. In contrast, I have friends in St. Louis who don't even know anyone besides me who has a gun, let alone carries one. So, I would expect it likely that in rural areas, CC would be 5% or higher and in urban areas less than 1%, giving state averages of 2.5% as we see in FL.

    Then the question becomes, what proportion of that 2.5% would OC if it were legal. Moreover, how many who for some reason cannot get a CC, would also OC. Furthermore, what about all those people in rural western states where it is common place to OC already. I would again expect to see a split between rural and urban dwellers. I wouldn't be surprised to see more than half of the rural CC holders OC at least on occasion. I would expect that most urban dwellers would CC while in the city most of the time.

    So where does that leave us? I would postulate on the above reasoning that approximately 1-1.5% of the population would OC at least a few times a month if it were legal. Extrapolating further, that would mean that about 5-6% of firearm owners would be OCing with some regularity or between 3-4 million people nationwide assuming it were legal everywhere.

    As a percentage that doesn't sound too very off to me for several reasons, one of the primary being history. I have read from numerous sources over the years that despite the hype, in the Old West only about 5-10% of people actually carried a pistol. Most of the population owned firearms, but most of them were also farmers, ranchers or town dwellers who didn't carry a pistol most of the time. I don't think human nature has changed all that much over time. If you decrease the historic levels of firearms ownership to the current of ~25-30% of the population, that 5-10% would drop to 2-3%.

    Ok, maybe that was a little tortured, but I find the discussion/speculation interesting (how I missed this thread previously I don't know).
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  22. #22
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    I would say that at least 100k people OC at one time or another, however the people who actually practice this as a regular behavior is hard to judge, both are hard to judge really.

    You have to look at several things, how many permits are issued nationwide for CC, how many states allow OC, how many people OC without having a CC permit or a LTCF, so many things to factor in...

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