Davison County's concealed-carry permits reach record level in 2012The Sheriff’s Office issued 481 permits, up from 383 in 2011. That’s a 26 percent increase.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Concealed-carry gun permits issued in Davison County reached their highest-ever recorded level in 2012.
The Sheriff’s Office issued 481 permits, up from 383 in 2011. That’s a 26 percent increase.
Newly appointed Sheriff Steve Brink attributed the run-up to gun-owner anxiety over potential new restrictions on firearms. Even before the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., he noted, there was underlying suspicion about the president’s views on guns.
“I think people are listening to the president — especially with this school shooting tragedy in Connecticut,” Brink said. “People are concerned about what’s going to happen with pistol carrying and assault weapons in case something is outlawed.”
Thursday, The Associated Press reported that the Obama administration is assembling proposals to curb gun violence that could include a ban on sales of assault weapons, limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun buyers. Vice President Joe Biden said he will give President Barack Obama a set of recommendations by Tuesday.
Davison County secretary Grace Murphy said she began tracking the permits for the Sheriff’s Office in 2002, when 285 permits were issued.
Concealed-carry permits are good for four years and must be renewed after that time. The statistics include both new permits and renewals, since neither category is tracked separately, Murphy said.
In recent years, the following numbers of permits were issued: 2007, 338 permits; 2008, 378 permits; 2009, 448 permits; 2010, 359 permits; 2011, 383 permits; and 2012, 481 permits.
Local gun dealers say concerns about potential new gun restrictions are fueling sales.
“We had a real good year in 2012,” said Ken Blaalid, owner of Leader Sporting Goods in Mitchell. “It’s the best year we ever had. We’ve sold a lot of everything.”
Blaalid said his customers have expressed fears they won’t be able to get guns at some future date.
“That’s about the only reason,” he said. “They believe they’re going to tighten up the laws on certain guns, so they thought they’d buy them before the laws go into effect so that they’re grandfathered in.”