MEADVILLE – Applications for concealed-carry permits have skyrocketed since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting last month.
“Between December 17th, which was the Monday after the shooting, until January 7th, this past Monday, we took in 298 applications. That’s about 2-and-a-half times more than we normally do in that same period of time,” says Crawford County Sheriff Nick Hoke.
Crawford County issued 271 concealed-carry permits in December of 2012, compared to just 141 in December of 2011. But the increase actually began before the Newtown shooting. Hoke says the county issued 15-hundred permits in 2011 and 2-thousand, one-hundred-fifty in 2012, with similar increases being reported in other counties across the state. Additionally, about half of Hoke’s most recent applications have been for new permits, as opposed to renewals.
“I think, honestly, some folks are concerned that if there’s any change in the law that would put some added restrictions on firearms ownership or license to carry, that maybe they would have one already, that they would be grandfathered in. I think folks are truly concerned about self defense,” Hoke says.
Applications for a concealed-carry permit in Crawford County are available to anyone 21 years of age or older and can be downloaded from the county website. Certain crimes can disqualify a person from obtaining a permit, and those crimes are included on the questionnaire. There is a 20-dollar application fee.
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