1 In 6 Hoosiers Have A Handgun Permit

The Percentage Is Higher In Jackson & Surrounding Counties

The number of people with handgun permits in Indiana shot up in recent years. About 1 in 6 adult Hoosiers now have a handgun permit — up from 1 in 10 in 2012.
The Indiana State Police released the 2017 firearms licensing statistics last month.
The state issued fewer handgun permits in 2017 than in 2016 in Indiana, but permits have shot up in the last five years, especially for women.
To carry a handgun— concealed, openly or otherwise— in Indiana, a person has to have a license from the state.
Indiana State Police issued 72,061 new firearm licenses in 2017, which is down from 134,290 issued in 2016 — a 46 percent drop in the number of licenses issued.
There are 833,614 active firearm licenses issued by the state right now. There are 5,057,601 people age 18 & over living in Indiana; that means about 1 in every 6 adult Hoosiers (16.48%) has a firearms license that allows them to legally carry a handgun.
The number of gun permit owners in south central Indiana is higher than the state average.
Jackson County’s population age 18 & older in 2016 was 33,197 people. As of the beginning of this year, 7,225 (21.76%) of the residents over age 18 had licenses to carry handguns.
For comparison of counties surrounding Jackson: Bartholomew County 10,993 permits, 61,921 (17.75%) population age 18 & older; Lawrence County 8,181 permits, 35,494 population (23.04%); Jennings County 4,611 permits, 21,193 population (21.75%); Washington County 4,707 permits, 21,336 population (22.06%); Scott County 3,881 permits, 18,409 population (21.08); Brown County 3,456 permits, 12,134 population (28.48%).
In the last six years, the biggest applicant spikes came in 2013 and 2016:
2017: 72,061
2016: 134,290
2015: 77,571
2014: 75,627
2013: 116,059
2012: 63,970
A Statehouse bill that would have done away with handgun permits was mostly scrapped last week, but a version would still ease back on licensing barriers, like getting rid of the fees to get a permit. The Indiana House Public Policy Committee approved the bill 12-1.
Getting rid of licensing fees means the state would lose about $13 million in revenue in 2019 and 2020, according to state estimates.
The original proposal was to do away with permitting outright but was shot down quickly in the committee hearing.
While men hold 3 out of 4 handgun permits in Indiana, more and more women are licensed to carry handguns in Indiana.
In the last six years, the number of women with active handgun permits more than doubled, from 92,860 in 2012 to 223,596 in 2017.

Zach Evans of the Evansville Courier & Press contributed to this story.