Massachusetts: 203,302 Concealed Handgun Permits
Speak of people carrying concealed handguns rates in Texas or Florida to someone in Massachusetts and I am sure that they would be viewed as examples of the dangerous wild west. So who has more concealed handgun permits per capita? Texas or Massachusetts? Texas has 22.9 million people and 247,345 permits. For Massachusetts, which has 6.4 million people, the numbers are quite high: “In Massachusetts, 203,302 residents were licensed to carry concealed weapons as of August, according to the state Criminal History Systems Board.” Texas would have to have over 726,000 permits to have the same rate of issuance. (Obviously it would be nice to compare only the adult populations, but this fast comparison using total populations will give a useful rough measure.)
How about Florida or Massachusetts? Florida is way up there also with 549,000 permits, but on a per capita rate it would have over 565,000 if it issued permits at the same rate as Massachusetts.
While I am putting this up, for Utah it is 79,353 permits. Utah and Massachusetts have virtually the same rate of issuing permits per capita, but my guess is that Massachusetts' rate is higher among adults.
By the way, the Brady Campaign gives Massachusetts a "B+" for its concealed carry system because police have discretion to grant permits, but it gives Texas a "D" and Florida and Utah an "F"s.
Pennsylvania, Indiana, and South Dakota have the highest rates of issuing permits 6.4, 6.4 and 7.5 percent of adults respectively. There are over 1.1 million permits issued just from Pennsylvania and Florida alone.
Thanks to Maxim Lott for discovering this fact about Massachusetts.