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A nation on edge has driven a surge in concealed carry gun licenses, but those getting them aren’t the usual suspects.

According to the United States Concealed Carry Association, which trains and insures those legally allowed to pack heat, there are now some 18 million with permits, up from 11 million four years ago.

Founder and President Tim Schmidt estimates that up to 40 percent of his 300,000 members are Democrats. What’s more, he said that of another three million who have sought information from his group, half are Democrat.

“A lot of new people are getting permits,” Schmidt said.

Of his prospects, he added, “Half of them align themselves with the Democrats. So this whole concept of wanting to defend yourself doesn’t go straight down Republican or conservative lines. I think everyone wants to defend themselves. We have all sorts of folks who say they are Democrats but want to carry a gun.”

He said that when USCCA sends out emails critical of Democrats, his phones light up with members who stress that they are gun advocates and Democrats.

“It’s less about politics, I think, than freedom,” said Schmidt.