Major concealed carry insurance providers in the U.S. say they have seen unprecedented growth in the past few years, as rising crime rates continue to drive more Americans to take their personal safety into their own hands by buying a firearm for self-defense.
Delta Defense, which runs the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) and provides self-defense liability insurance coverage as part of membership in the education and training organization, has seen its membership numbers more than double from 300,000 in 2020 to nearly 700,000 today.
A decade ago, USCCA's membership was at 50,000.
Tim Schmidt, CEO of Delta Defense and President and Co-founder of the USCCA, attributes the surge to the "millions of brand new gun owners there are in the wake of primarily all the riots that happened in early 2020."
He told FOX Business, "A lot of people came to the realization that ‘Holy cow I need to be able to defend myself, so I'm going to buy a gun.'" And those new gun owners are seeking out education, training and further protection.
Competitor U.S. LawShield, which launched in 2009 and also provides education, training and concealed carry insurance, saw an enormous surge in membership starting in 2020, too.
"We had this combination in the last two or three years of COVID, civil unrest, gigantic increases in crime across the country – and we saw a very, very unprecedented growth in our company." president Kirk Evans told FOX Business, saying that his organization is also currently sitting at around 700,000 members.
Evans said another reason the industry has seen so much growth is because of increasing diversity among gun owners.
"You could not go a week in the last year or two without seeing an article about ‘women make up the largest demographic of new permit holders’ or ‘African Americans have shown the highest increase’ or minorities as the biggest increase in blank or people in San Francisco running out to buy a firearm," he said. "This is not a white conservative group anymore."
Both CEOs believe business is set to take off further.
Evans sees opportunity following the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which will make it easier to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun in a number of states.
Just like New York, Evans says, California, New Jersey and other states with restrictive permitting structures will now have to loosen them. He explained, "What we expect to see is a huge growth in three of the largest states in the country" due to the decision.
Schmidt sees opportunity in both the sheer number of gun owners in the U.S. and his company's own expansion, noting that there are some 22 million Americans that have concealed carry permits and 80 million households that own guns.
"It's a combination of just the overall society is just buying more guns because they're scared and they want to be able to defend themselves," he said. "And number two, we're getting better at our job."