The number of concealed pistol licenses approved in Michigan surged 42% last year, compared to the year before. That's according to a recent report from the Michigan State Police.
About 170,000 concealed pistol licenses were issued in Michigan in the year ending September 30, 2016.
That's up from approximately 120,000 issued the previous year, and from about 37,000 issued ten years ago.
According to the State Police, there are slightly more than 600,000 active concealed pistol licenses in Michigan.
Robert Sipple is a CPL instructor with students from urban and rural areas all over the state.
"I think a lot of them are just plain concerned about crime," said Sipple.
Larry Washington, a CPL instructor with students from southeast Michigan, says his students are motivated by concern for personal safety and word of mouth.
"When one person finds out that another person has a concealed pistol license and what they went through to get it, it spikes their interest and they want to get it," said Washington.
"As a result of the surge in people who are concealed pistol licensees, one of the negative by-products could be, and possibly is, is that you have a lot of people who are legally able to carry guns for their self protection," Washington said, "And unfortunately they haven't done the follow-up training necessary to become proficient in using those guns."
FBI statistics show a substantial decline in violent crime over the past 20 years.