AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Texans 50 or 60 and older are leading the way in applications for a concealed handgun permit, state data show.
More 57-year-old Texans applied for the concealed carry permit than any other single age. In past years, Texans ages 63, 62, 51 and 60 have headed up the requests, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram said after an exhaustive search of state records.
Gun experts say older people have a greater need to protect themselves against perceived threats of violence and are generally thought of as easier targets for crime, thus the desire to pack heat.
"Older folks are more concerned with their safety, recognize the dangers around them more, have more to lose and are less capable of dealing with threats by running and avoidance," said Alan Korwin, author of 14 gun law books.
Despite all the older Texans seeking to carry a tool of self-defense, anti-gun groups say those who carry a concealed handgun should beware: They almost never result in successful self-defense but make carriers much more likely to be involved in an intentional shooting.
"With concealed carry, you are taking a gun and you have it with you all the time, so by definition, you are enhancing the chance it will be involved in an intentional shooting," said Kristen Rand, legislative director at the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center. "As for the chance anyone will successfully use a gun in self-defense, people don't understand how rare that is.
"Your chances of being in that scenario ... it virtually never happens."