When it comes to gun permits, Sarasota County does not rank high, nor does its neighbor, Manatee County.
- The No. 1 Florida county for the sheer number of people licensed to carry concealed weapons is Miami-Dade County, which has a national reputation for violent crime, which is also caused by unregistered guns. Because of its large population, the number is only 3.3 percent of the overall county population.
- The No. 1 county, with more than 10 percent of the population licensed to carry guns, is rural Dixie County, located in the Panhandle, followed by Monroe County, located in the Florida Keys, at 7.3 percent.
- Tampa Bay counties with high rankings for concealed gun permits are Hillsborough, at No. 4, for the sheer number, with 45,447 residents licensed to carry them.
- Pinellas County is at No. 7, by sheer number of licensees, with 36,498.
- Both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties fall toward the bottom of counties with the proportion of residents to county population who hold state permits to carry concealed weapons. Hillsborough ranks 53, with 3.7 percent of its population, and Pinellas is at 45, with 3.9 percent of its population licensed to carry concealed weapons.
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Sarasota gun ownership numbers
Sarasota County has 17,802 residents licensed to carry concealed weapons, placing it 14th out of 67 counties , according to the most recent state records, the most recent data available.
Sarasota ranks 37th among Florida counties, at 4.6 percent, by the proportion of its population licensed to carry concealed weapons. The licensing is done through the Florida Division of Licensing, which is part of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Gun laws in Florida are being debated in the Legislature in the aftermath of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager in Sanford. Gun control advocates are arguing to overturn the state's "Stand Your Ground" law. Gov. Rick Scott also has formed a committee to host a series of town meetings across Florida about the state law.
For comparison, just more than 4 percent of Manatee county population has this special permit.
Neighboring Manatee County has 13,330 residents licensed to carry concelaed weapons, according to the most recent data. Manatee also ranks 17 out of 67 counties by the sheer number of residents licensed.
Manatee County's ranking falls to 43rd, when it is calculated by the percentage of population licensed to carry concealed permits.
This map and article corrects incorrect data supplied for Sarasota County.