In 2015, the number of Massachusetts legal gun owners increased nearly 8 percent, according to the Boston Globe. In Massachusetts, all legal gun owners are required to be licensed by the state. Massachusetts is one of a small minority of states that requires gun owners to be licensed. From bostonglobe.com: January 7, 2016
Tens of thousands of new gun licenses were issued to Massachusetts residents in 2015, continuing a recent surge, according to state data.
There were 342,622 active Class A firearms licenses statewide, according to figures provided by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services earlier this month. That was up about 24,700, or 7.8 percent, from the same time a year ago.
The Class A licenses catch the important trend, because 90 percent of all gun licenses in the state are in that category.
This helps answer a question that has been raised by national polls and gun sales records. Gun sales are at record levels, and have increasing for a decade. The total number of private guns in the United States has increased by about 90 million in the last seven years. At the same time, the number of people who are willing to admit to gun ownership in national polls has varied considerably.
Some polls have shown gun ownership up, some have shown it going down. The issue is clouded because polls ask different questions; some about whether there is a gun in the house; others as to whether the person answering the poll owns a gun.
Disarmists who wish to reduce the number of guns and gun owners claim that while there are more guns, they are being concentrated in a smaller number of hands. Second Amendment Supporters claim that the number of gun owners is increasing, especially among minorities, women, young people, and urbanites.
Because Massachusetts requires a license to own a gun, it serves as a reality check. If more guns are going into fewer hands, the number of Massachusetts gun licenses would be decreasing. But in 2015 alone, the number increased by nearly 8 percent.
Three months ago, WWLP reported that total gun licenses in Massachusetts had increased by 66% since 2010. From wwlp.com:
378,642 people or one in every 14 adults has a gun license in Massachusetts. Up from 227,612 in 2010. A 66% increase.Other states that register gun owners also show strong increases. In Illinois, the number has increased about 75%, from a little over 1 million in 2010, to 1.8 million in 2015.
It seems unlikely that gun ownership is increasing in states that actually track it, but decreasing in states that have less restrictions, especially with the dramatic increases in gun sales nationwide.
It is likely that gun owners, especially new gun owners, are leery of admitting gun ownership to unknown pollsters. Gun owners in Massachusetts cannot refuse to be licensed, if they wish to avoid breaking the law.
Definition of disarmist
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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