Pistol-Packing Percents

This might not be the best day to report this — Martin Luther King won a Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy of non-violence — but yesterday’s Middletown Press includes a fascinating story on the numbers and rates of pistol ownership in Connecticut.

Westport has 719 permit holders. That’s 2.7% of our population — the 7th lowest rate of pistol ownership of all 169 Connecticut towns and cities.

Connecticut pistol permitWe’re tied with  Danbury and Greenwich. The only places with a lower population of pistol owners are West Hartford, Darien, Stamford, New London, Mansfield, New Haven and — at the bottom — Hartford (1.5%).

The most heavily armed town in Connecticut is Canaan: 13.5%. There are 167 permit holders in the rural community of just 1,234 people.

Click here for the full story, statistics, and an interactive map.

22 responses to “Pistol-Packing Percents

  1. It may well correlate to blue-ness; or, certainly, to demographics and education level. I just read another interesting red-blue divergence and it’s cancer – the 20-year statistics are in, and cancer deaths are down nationally and especially in blue states, but up in southern and midwest states. Some of the same people who are keeping guns in case the government comes to “get” them are smoking at rates of up to 1/3 of their population, welcoming the REAL boogie man right into their homes.

  2. Does a pistol permit mean the holder owns a hand gun, or might it be that many of the Canaan residents are rifle owning hunters?

    • As noted in the story, the statistics are for pistol permits.

      • Dan – Interesting as the numbers are, I’m not sure what they mean if it’s about permit ownership rather than gun ownership.
        Conceivably one could own a permit, but not a gun. Then, does every gun purchase require its own permit, or does a single permit entitle an individual to purchase and own as many guns as he/she desires? And does owning a permit entitle a person to buy only a pistol, or does a permit allow someone to purchase any legal firearm?

  3. Not sure how to interpret this…. we have roughly the same rate of pistol permits as Bridgeport…. I wonder what percentage of gun owners hold pistol permits – and does that percentage also vary by town? I also suppose there is no way to search an address to know if there are guns in the home…. sometimes I worry about sending kids off on playdates…Could there be a gun in the home? Is it locked?

    • You sound like someone who works for the Journal News.

    • If you are concerned about sending your child to a home that might have a gun, it would be wise to just ask the parents if they own one, and if they keep it under lock & key. If you are comfortable sending your child to the home of someone you don’t know very well, there is no harm in asking. If they do own a gun & do not keep it locked, you will never send your child there to play again. Simply ask.

  4. A. David Wunsch

    Dan: I think you should publish the addresses of the gun owners in Westport. You would be doing a service to the town. Do this thought experiment : Your 7 year old son has been invited, for the first time, to another boy’s house for a play date. You look on a list and learn that there is a gun permit for the house he’ll be visiting. There is most likely a gun there. Shouldn’t you, as a responsible parent, phone the parents of the other child to find out where the gun is kept, what kind it is, and whether it’s locked ?
    A. David Wunsch
    Staples , class of 1956

    • Hey David, do this thought exercise. Your a criminal who needs a gun. You check Dan’s Map to get yourself a new gun. Take some time and google Journal News and guns. Bad idea.

    • For the children

      Here’s an idea Dan, publish the names of women who’ve had abortions.
      Imagine you send your 7 year old daughter to another house for a play date, I would want to know my child was safe and if her friend’s mother hasn’t already killed a child.

    • Mr. Wunsch,

      How about if you are a criminal and you need to rob a house but are afraid of getting shot by the owner, you can just look at this list and find your next victim. Nice! We wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt now would we?

      Maybe you can start a trend of planting a sign on your front yard that read – “Gun Free Zone”. I am sure that will solve the violence in this society.

  5. No David. Having a pistol permit does not mean the permitee owns any gun. I am in the process of obtaining a permit (why, because I can) and have no interest in buying a gun. The permit is not easy and is not inexpensive.

  6. Having a permit doesn’t mean you have a handgun. I guess I’ll “expose” myself as a permit holder and a handgun owner. The permit holders aren’t the problem. I’m pretty much sure that the gun crime rate (or any crime for that matter) is low in a place like Canaan. They’re police log probably reads about things like people stealing firewood and teenagers tipping over cows.

    As a responsible gun owner to get at my guns you would need some kind of wrecking saw to get through the first level of security and then a plasma blowtorch after that. You would be better off using a crane and wrecking ball on the house.

  7. If you really have concerns about your children being exposed to firearms, I think that a good way to deal with it is that YOU should be the one to expose them to firearms. My children have fired guns and my oldest has taken a firearms safety course. They are learning to treat firearms with respect. The idea is that they will know what to do if a friend pulls out a pistol belonging to a parent. My kids know to treat all guns as loaded and will get the heck out of the way, leave the room, leave the house, call us or the parents or the police in that situation. I’m hoping that educating my kids will keep them safe if some idiot starts waving a pistol around, saying, “hey, look what I found in my mom’s night table!”. Might not be a solution for everyone but (1) knowledge is power and (2) I suspect that there are a lot of unsecured firearms around out there, registered or otherwise.

    • A. David Wunsch

      Can we safely assume that a first or second grader, no matter what his/her training, can reliably tell if a gun found in a playmate’s home is a toy or real ? I think not. Yet this is a life and death matter. It’s best if we know in advance if there is an actual gun in the playmate’s house.

  8. My daughter is only 10 months old but when she gets older I plan on teaching her about firearms and taking her shooting. I’m not sure what that age will be but it will depend on her maturity. Until that time, as a father, the best thing that I feel is that she should have no access at anytime to firearms. My guns are totally inaccessible to anyone but me. Owning a gun also comes with a very large responsibility.

    About 40 years ago one of my cousins owned apartment buildings in Bridgeport. He had to go down and collect the rent from the tenants who would often pay him in cash. He usually carried a gun when he went to collect. He left his gun in his raincoat pocket one night when he came home. While he and his wife were eating dinner they realized that there 5 year old daughter was standing in the middle of the kitchen with his pistol looking down the barrel. She had gone into his coat pocket looking for candy or something and found the gun. They quietly approached her and got her to put the gun on the floor. They didn’t want to startle her and have her pull the trigger. They’re both still so traumatized by what happened that they won’t even discuss it.

    I’m all for educating children about guns. If you have young children in your house it’s incredibly stupid to have them accessible. It’s also illegal in CT if they are under 16.

  9. If only we all carried guns and armed all our young’uns, all the guns would cancel out the other guns. Guns built this country, and we should let them continue to build it!