Concealed-gun permits are growing by leaps and bounds across a number of states. Ohio is poised to almost double the 65,000 issued in 2012, which would be triple its 2007 figure; Florida has issued more than 173,000 over the past year, up 17% from the previous year; in just half a year, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Wyoming have each issued nearly as many—or even more—than in the entirety of the year before, the Wall Street Journal reports. Indeed, many states are likely to issue more this year than ever before.
In total, some eight million Americans had permits as of last year. And while seven states had concealed-carry bans as of 2002, it will be legal in every state by the end of this year. Only 10 states call on applicants to show "good cause" to get a permit. The Journal links the increase in permits to recent mass shootings, with some more concerned about self-defense while others fear a government crackdown on guns. Some police tell the paper they're concerned about the trend: "Without the gun, it's a fistfight. With the gun, it's a shooting," says one. (Read more concealed weapon stories.)