Newly released data from the North Dakota Attorney General’s office shows a fast rise in concealed carry permits so far this year. From January 1 to July 27, the state issued far more concealed weapons permits than in all of 2011.
The permission to carry a concealed handgun is most popular in the oil-producing counties of western North Dakota. In oil country, concealed weapon permits are up 84 percent this year — and that’s comparing the first seven months of 2012 with all of 2011.
Outside oil country, concealed weapon permits are up 51 percent this year.
One of the sharpest increases in concealed weapons permits is in Stark County, home to Dickinson. In 2011, the state issued 188 permits in Stark County. So far in 2012, the state has issued 719 concealed weapons permits there — a 282 percent increase. And five more months remain in 2012.
In addition, concealed weapons permits have more than doubled in these western counties: Divide, Dunn, Golden Valley, McKenzie and McClean.
The west isn’t the only place where carrying a concealed handgun is popular: Permits have more than doubled in Burleigh County so far this year, meaning more residents in Bismarck are likely to be legally carrying handguns while walking on city streets.
Western N.D. Oil Counties, 2011: 2,375 permits
Western N.D. Oil Counties, Jan. 1 – July 27, 2012: 4,387 permits
Other N.D. Oil Counties, 2011: 2,637 permits
Other N.D. Oil Counties, Jan. 1 – July 27, 2012: 3,982 permits
County With Most New Permits, Jan. 1 – July 27, 2012: Burleigh, 1,374
County With Least New Permits, Jan. 1 – July 27, 2012: Eddy, 15
Oil County With Most New Permits, Jan. 1 – July 27, 2012: Ward, 1,026
Oil County With Sharpest Rise In New Permits, Jan. 1 – July 27, 2012: Stark, 719 (versus 188 for all of 2011)
Source: North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, July 30, 2012