Woolrich, a 182-year-old clothing company, describes its new chino pants as an elegant and sturdy fashion statement, with a clean profile and fabric that provides comfort and flexibility.

And they are great for hiding a handgun.

The company has added a second pocket behind the traditional front pocket for a weapon. Or, for those who prefer to pack their gun in a holster, it can be tucked inside the stretchable waistband. The back pockets are also designed to help hide accessories, like a knife and a flashlight.

The chinos, which cost $65, are not for commandos, but rather, the company says, for the fashion-aware gun owner. And Woolrich has competition. Several clothing companies are following suit, building businesses around the sharp rise in people with permits to carry concealed weapons.

Their ranks swelled to around seven million last year from five million in 2008, partly because of changes to state laws on concealed handguns.

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Dealers: Increase in gun ownership, concealed carry permits part of 'Obama boom'

More people are buying guns and getting permission to carry them, with nearly 1 million Floridians now authorized to have a concealed weapon, state records show.

Local arms dealers and shooting range operators say they are busier, and they attribute it to the uncertainty of a presidential election year. But they also point to the primary reason for owning handguns: personal safety.

"Fear equals consumption," said Eric Sandberg, owner of Centennial Arms of Naples, recalling a line from the 2002 anti-gun documentary "Bowling for Columbine."

In March, 1,088 Collier and Lee county residents received licenses to carry concealed weapons, about 250 more than during the first two months of the year.

Statewide, the number also rose in March, bringing the total to 919,831 licensed Floridians. That's about one in 17 adults.

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