More than eleven million Americans hold concealed handgun licenses, an increase from 4.5 million in 2007. Yet, despite increasing numbers of firearms and expanding opportunities for gun owners to carry concealed firearms in public places, little is known about the reasons for obtaining a concealed carry permit or what a publicly armed citizenry means for society.
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Justice Angela Stroud has researched for eight years the reasoning behind concealed carry.
She presents her results in, Good Guys with Guns: The Appeals and Consequences of Concealed Carry, published by the University of North Carolina Press in early June.
Through interviews with permit holders and observations at gun ranges and a licensing course, Stroud examines the social and cultural factors that shape the practice of obtaining a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
“Most permit holders that I talked with insist that a gun is simply a tool for protection,” she said. “I demonstrate in this book how much more the license represents—that possessing a concealed firearm is a practice shaped by race, class, gender, and cultural definitions that separate ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys.’”