BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today said September’s record jump in active concealed pistol licenses (CPL) in Washington State underscores public frustration over rising violent crime resulting from defund police efforts and liberal soft-on-crime policies from the Legislature down to county and city governments.

Last month, according to data from the Washington Department of Licensing, more than 21,000 more citizens obtained CPLs, bringing the total to 688,440 active licenses. This new monthly figure eclipses the previous single-month record of 13,932 new licenses set in May 2013.

“This is a staggering increase in the number of carry licenses,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “and we wholeheartedly support every citizen who has made the important decision to take responsibility for his or her personal and family safety. This has happened despite repeated Draconian efforts by lawmakers to discourage private gun ownership. It should send a message to politicians and bureaucrats who support defund-the-police efforts and promote lenient policies toward repeat offenders who commit an inordinate number of crimes without serious consequences that the public is fed up.

“We just received crime estimates for 2021 from the FBI Uniform Crime Report,” he continued, “which indicate there were 300 homicides in Washington last year, up from the 295 reported for 2020. Among other things, the estimates confirm gun control initiatives in 2014 and 2018, plus Seattle’s gun violence tax have been unmitigated failures. Instead of reducing violent crime as promised, these measures have only penalized law-abiding citizens while criminals have ignored the laws, just as we predicted.

“At a time when liberal Evergreen State legislators are demonizing gun owners and trying to erode their rights, it will be interesting to see whether this stunning increase in concealed carry translates to activism at the polls Nov. 8,” Gottlieb observed. “It suggests people have had enough of the social policies which have resulted in rising violent crime, and maybe they’re ready to make a dramatic political shift.

“We encourage all of these newly armed citizens to seek competent instruction, learn the laws and carry with confidence as we move forward,” he concluded.