Virginia has 152,000 permit holders
The number of Virginians who obtained a permit to carry a concealed weapon jumped 60 percent last year over 2006, an increase that many gun experts say was a reaction to the fatal shootings of 32 students and professors at Virginia Tech.
In Northern Virginia, the numbers were much the same. In Fairfax County, there were 2,471 concealed-carry permits issued in 2007, a 64 percent increase. In Prince William County, the number rose to 1,636, a nearly 59 percent gain. In Loudoun, the number of permits issued was 962, a 52 percent increase. . . .
The number of people approved to carry concealed weapons in Virginia has gone up and down in recent years. In 2002, a year after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the number of permits granted went up almost 100 percent, from about 15,000 to more than 30,000. But the annual number soon drifted down into the 20,000s until 2007, when it shot up to 43,927. The rise was first reported yesterday in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
State police said that more than 152,000 people currently hold valid concealed-carry permits. In addition to concealed carrying, openly carrying a weapon is legal in Virginia and is done regularly by gun rights activists. . . .
Thanks to Janet Fallon for alerting me to this.