Gun Rights Conference Smaller, Informative as WA Carry Licenses Explode

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Gun Rights Conference Smaller, Informative as WA Carry Licenses Explode, iStock-697763612

U.S.A.-( As the 37th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference unfolded over the first weekend of October in Texas with a smaller in-person audience and thousands of live stream viewers, one of the biggest gun rights stories of the autumn may have been in Washington.

Experts on gun policy gathered at the Westin Dallas-Fort Worth Airport hotel while gun control proponents 1,600 miles to the northwest were likely cringing. The Washington Department of Licensing revealed August saw a whopping 21,180 more concealed pistol licenses over the number reported at the end of August: 688,440, as opposed to 667,260.

In Texas, the conference brought activists up to date about gun politics, the continuing impact of the Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, and the outlook for the 2022 mid-term elections.

In Washington, gun owners are sending a strong signal to Seattle-based anti-gunners and their Democrat colleagues in Olympia by setting a stunning new record in the number of concealed pistol licenses issued in a single month. The previous record had been set in the spring of 2013, at just under 14,000.

The irony of the weekend is that the Dallas conference was sponsored by the Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb learned of the sharp spike in active CPLs during the opening day of the conference. His one-word reaction: “Wow!”

Washington is not one of the 25 states now boasting what is generically called “constitutional carry,” though one of the conference speakers said the correct term is “permitless carry.” It is, however, the western state with the fastest-growing number of resident CPLs, a situation that cannot be overstated in a state where liberals are scampering with heavy social media advertising in an effort to keep the state “blue.” Better than one-in-ten qualified adults is licensed to carry in a state where billionaire-backed gun prohibitionists have pushed through two gun control initiatives since 2014, Seattle levies a special tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition in the city, and the Legislature is dominated by liberal anti-gun Democrats.

Seattle, incidentally, has seen a dramatic loss of police officers, leading to longer response times and, allegedly, in some cases, no response at all.

According to licensing department data, Seattle is encompassed in heavily-Democrat King County, where the number of active CPLs hit 107,846 on Sept. 30.

Neighboring Pierce County has 90,395 licensed citizens. Over in Spokane County, there are 47,178 CPS, whereas on Sept. 1, there were 44,238 licenses.

This could easily have been a topic for presentation at the conference, which saw reports from author/researcher Dr. John Lott, SAF President Massad Ayoob, academics David Kopel and Robert Cottrol, and several attorneys who have been active in Second Amendment litigation.

Lott noted in his presentation that the media “doesn’t report defensive gun uses,” a pattern only occasionally broken by such incidents as the defensive gun uses which stopped would-be mass shooters earlier this year in West Virginia and Indiana.

Yet, even in the wake of the Bruen ruling, politicians in New York and neighboring New Jersey quickly moved to adopt new laws designed to get around the Supreme Court’s directives in Bruen. One presenter, attorney Daniel Schmutter, told the GRPC audience, “New Jersey (ant-gunners) absolutely lost their minds,” after the Bruen ruling was released.

“They are looking for any way to undermine” the Bruen decision, Schmutter observed.

Garden State officials would likely have fits if they suddenly found themselves in the Evergreen State with all of those legally-armed citizens.

What is not known is whether this surge in carry licenses will translate to political activism next month. Clearly, in Washington, the public is not simply alarmed at rising crime and declining police numbers in major cities; they are doing something about it by arming up. Washington has been a “shall issue” state for decades.

As reported by, since the first of the year, Washington has added more than 49,000 active CPLs, and with three months remaining, that number is likely to go even higher.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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Watch um

Again people who love to spend other people’s money “politicians” can’t understand what the simple meaning of the word infringed.
At least Alabama politicians have began to understand the meaning by passing the constitutional right to bear arms Concealed. I has been open carry since 1890.
I have been carrying a handgun for 60 years now and even at the age of 80 I will continue.
I would hope to live long enough to see our nation become a nation of understanding what the meaning of shall not be infringed means.

Watch um

Correction, Alabama has been an open carry state since 1890 not me. Sorry but I type with my left index finger and it don’t work as well as my trigger finger on my right hand


I has been open carry since 1890.

when I read this line in context I automatically inserted the missing letter “t” after the letter “I”.

Yuo carry on, fumbly left index and all. When I type I have to manage TEN fumbly fingers


Yes, this is interesting news. Thanks, Mr. Workman. It doesn’t surprise me. I have a very large family. 90% of the adults carry daily, my 2nd oldest daughter excluded. Until a month or so, I worried about her more than the rest because she has gone kind of wobbly politically and said she’d never own a handgun. There was some kind of incident in her neighborhood recently and now she’s decided that Dad was right about personal protection. “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6!” She now is the proud owner of a S&W MP Shield 2.0… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Bigfootbob

Now let’s get rid of the effing magazine restriction.

Rob J

Keep an eye on our upcoming legislative session. I can all but guarantee there will be a bill to ban possession since it was struck from the original text last session.

Rob J

Our carry laws here in WA are a bit different. A CPL (Concealed Pistol License) is required to carry a firearm concealed upon one’s body or in a vehicle unless engaging in an outdoor activity (hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, just to name a few), in one’s home, or in one’s fixed place of business. “No Firearms Allowed” signs do not carry force of law (to either open or concealed carry) except in specific restricted areas defined by law. You can be trespassed from a property, but no firearm charges will be levied. Open carry allowed during a permitted demonstration… Read more »


August saw a whopping 21,180 more concealed pistol licenses over the number reported at the end of August: 688,440, as opposed to 667,260.”

Anyone want to explain that sentence? Sounds like a Biden / Harris speech writer’s work.


Maybe he meant that in the month of August they issued 21180 total licenses upping the total from 667260 to 688440? It doesn’t read as if it is different years so? I missed it.


Added an edit to a post to this article, a video link to the mayor of Everett, Washington chastising a member of her party for his reckless police reform bills and statements about the police and their supporters are mad that the reforms stopped the police from “going around killing people!”

Ammoland pulled the first post and put up a statement in ORANGE, AWAITING FOR APPROVAL:SPAM.

Unbelievable, keep up the nonsense and lose your preeminent position as a RELIABLE 2A media publication. You already have 1 strike by allowing Harold Hutchinson a platform. Geez.


I think video links are automatically reviewed.


Workman, did you stay home to guard the home front?? Didn’t see you at the GRPC. Saw Weingrarten (mostly his hat 🙂 🙂 ), Wos, Zimmerman, Williams, Pincus, Ayoob, Lott, Kopel, Goeser, et el…..even Rittenhouse… Workman. For the rest of you pro-2A followers, you missed a great event and opportunity to engage with like-minded citizens from all around the country. GREAT EVENT!! Missed the in person contacts during COVID last two years. One of my several annual road trips. Location not announced yet, but make plans to be there next year. .