Pardon me while I number geek out for a minute...I hadn't paid attention to Connecticut's total number of handgun permits in a couple years.
There was a big increase in 2013 in response to the concern over what post-Newton gun laws would pass -- about 25,000 applications were approved, adding to the 170,000 already issued.
While the new gun laws strongly encourage folks to get pistol permits -- they take 8 hours longer and another $140 over just getting the new long gun or ammunition permits now required -- I didn't realize how strongly demand had kept up.
In 2016 some 30,000 new permits were issued!
This has now brought Connecticut up to 300,000 permit holders -- if we're not there yet, it should go over that in another year unless there is a big drop off in renewing permits (something gun control advocates are trying to accomplish through proposals for punitive renewal fees).
I would have expected some drop off -- after all 30,000 people a year aren't turning 21. This indicates a very broad based continuing increase in the desire to own (and carry) firearms in Connecticut. 2016 was probably likely a high year due to fear over Hillary Clinton being elected, yet the year before was 17,000 new permits issued which is well above pre-Newtown numbers. 5,000 permits were issued in 2005, increasing to 12,000 by 2011.
(And it's not for hunting -- there are only 40,000 resident hunting licenses issued annually. Now some folks who have passed the classes may decide not to purchase a license each year until they're actually ready to go hunting, but still the vast majority of firearm owning households are not households with hunters.)
This is from a 2017 article which mixed up some use of NCIS background checks and state pistol permits -- the writer was clearly unfamiliar with "gun lingo" -- but the basic facts could be ascertained. I did do some double checking to make sure he mis-labeling NCIS checks (used predominantly for purchases) with actual carry permits issued...but the numbers pass a sanity check. He does list total permits issued since 2000 which will skew a little high as not everyone will have renewed their permit after five years...but between this and an article from the New Haven Register in 2013 it does basically reflect the doubling of permits in the last four years:
NH Register in 2013:
A town like Brooklyn going from 6.2 permit holders per 100 residents to 18 per 100, knowing culturally rural areas are stronger supporters of firearms and that the 18 is not taking into account permits that were not renewed (probably a couple of points)...that passes the sniff test as reasonable numbers knowing state wide permits have nearly doubled in four years.
Where this becomes even more remarkable -- you have to be 21 to get a permit.
Per the Town's DECD PDF, 35% of residents are under 24. So let's napkin back math it to be 30% are under 21 and thus can't get a pistol permit. Let's guess the number of felons among the residents are 2% based on national averages, and because the jail is counted in the town population, that's another 4% of the population that is ineligible since most will have felonies or disqualifying misdeamenors. So 36% of the our population can't get a pistol permit.
Of the remaining 64%, 18% have one -- i.e. 38% of people who are eligible to get a permit have spent the money, and taken the time for the class, to get fingerprinted, and to drive to Middletown to pickup their first permit in person. Thirty eight percent! Ok, you might quibble and "best case" for anti-gunners they might argue it's closer to 33%.