Huge Surge in Concealed-Carry Applications in St. Louis County, Averaging Over 700 a Month

The number of people seeking concealed-carry permits has jumped in St. Louis county -- by a lot.

In St. Louis and across Missouri there's been a lot of talk about concealed-carry permit holders in recent weeks. Statewide, a debate has erupted about the privacy of concealed-carry applicants, and in St. Louis county, a recent investigation into an allegedly fraudulent gun instructor has also sparked some controversy.

In our reporting, Daily RFT has stumbled upon some interesting stats. In St. Louis county, officials this year are processing an average of 700 concealed-carry permit applications a month. Seven years ago, the monthly average was around 90.

What's the cause of this huge spike?

See also:
- Concealed Carry Lawsuit: Missouri Is Violating Privacy Rights of Gun Owners
- St. Louis Police: Concealed-Carry Permit Holder Fires Shots at Five Robbers
- GOP Pushes To Make Concealed-Carry Permit Process Easier, Protect Privacy

It can be difficult to speculate, though when there is talk of gun control and new gun laws across the country, there can be increases in gun sales, permit applications, trainings and more.

What's interesting about the county data is that there has been a rapid increase in recent months -- and a gradual rise over the last half-decade.


"Since last October, November, they've really gone up," St. Louis county police spokesman Randy Vaughn tells Daily RFT. "But they were rising prior to that."

The numbers could be tied to the media attention around tragedies like the Newtown elementary-school shooting last December, but that wouldn't explain the overall trend since 2005.

Here is some basic data that county police recently sent us:

St. Louis County Conceal Carry Permits

Application by year:

2005..... 1400
2006..... 1034
2007..... 1419
2008..... 2662
2009..... 4025
2010..... 3575
2011..... 3542
2012..... 5099
2013..... average over 700 per month

Clearly, there's been an overall increase since 2005, with a noticeable jump last year into this year. With about 5,000 applications total last year, that would average roughly 400 per month -- almost half the current rate.

Regardless, it seems clear that 2013 is on track to break recent concealed-carry permit records.

This week, county police had to address questions concerning more than 1,000 concealed-carry permit holders who got their required certificates from a gun instructor facing fraud charges.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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JamesMadison topcommenter

Thank the gun control crowd for the uptick in those requesting to exercise their rights. People have a habit of protecting their freedoms from those who wish to remove them. CCW is on the rise, gun sales are all time high, ammo is being stockpiled. Why? Lots of talk of restricting personal freedom.

As Alan Simpson once said, and I agree, I'm for gun control. A person should be able to control their gun and hit what they are aiming at.


No matter the reason, citizens realizing that they are responsible from moment to moment for their personal safety is a good thing.  Whether you choose to do that by carrying a gun, mace, a taser or having a hightened sense of situational awareness no police officer, politician, or fellow citizen can be relied upon to be everywhere everytime for all incidents.  People who oppose CCW were wrong when they said there would be blood in the streets, they're wrong now and they will always be wrong because their zeal to turn the world into the place they would like blinds them to the recognition of the world as it is.  CCW is less about carrying a gun and more about recognizing that safety is your personal responsibility.  You are not powerless in the face of evil.  You can make a decision to not be a victim before you become one and that it can in fact be an effective strategy.  Wake up, stop living in "condition white" and start living in "condition real".

Fred Hoffman
Fred Hoffman

illinois is a state that ignores the constitution....CCW in illinois now...patty...


While there is no doubt the popularity of the permits is increasing, likely at least a portion of these new Mo CCW Endorsements are individuals who have previously held out of state CCW Endorsements from states such as Utah. Utah, which is one of the most popular, recently changed their laws regarding out of state permits, and now require Out of State holders to have their state of residences endorsement as well in order to renew, or to obtain an endorsement in the first place. Many folks opted for Utah permits a) because of the initial refusal of St. Louis County to issue when the law was passed until they were sued into compliance, and b) because the Utah's endorsement is considerably less expensive, is a 5 year instead of Missouri's 3, and lastly, enjoys reciprocity with the same states, and a few others. In all aspects, it is a better permit for many, thus most opted for the Utah permit and never received the Missouri, now Utah's new law forces those holders to also apply to Mo to renew their UT endorsements.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

the bombers are coming the bombers are coming get your guns and shoot the muslims

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