UPDATE: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
In the past two years, more Kansans than ever have applied for a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
The concealed carry program started in 2006 and the Kansas Attorney General's office says during the most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30, they received an average of 49 first permit applications every single day.
At Gander Mountain Academy, instructors and applicants tell KAKE News they can't really put their finger on the cause behind the recent surge - other than simply more people are looking for protection.
Certified instructor Ken McGuire has been teaching concealed carry permit classes ever since the program first began six years ago. He says every year, his classes get bigger.
“More people are starting to come in and take the concealed carry class. A lot more women have started to come in,” McGuire said.
2012 turned out to be a record breaking year for permit applications. The state Attorney General's office received 12,408 applications. The year before, they had 9,418. That's a 24 percent increase in just one year.
We talked to people either taking permit classes or thinking about it. We asked what made them want to get their concealed carry license now. Henry and Herman Haake told us timing was everything.
“I just turned 21,” Henry Haake said.
“I decided to do it with my brother since he was doing and we felt to do it together would be cool,” Herman Haake said.
New mom Kourtney Womack said she's a little more protective these days.
“Yes, (I have) a lot more to protect. It's kind of scary being a mom,” Womack said.
In order to get a permit, you have to complete a course. It takes about eight hours.
Instructors say students won't actually shoot guns until the very end of the course. That's why they say if you're thinking about getting your license, it's important you get some training before hand.
“Some folks just show up, go get a gun and carry it. But I kind of equate that to 'hey, you went and got your driver's license - you're legal to drive.' But if you're going to go drive on the interstate, well that's probably not the best idea,” Academy Manager Scott Perry said.
The Haake brothers say they prepared for their permit. Before stepping foot in the classroom, they put in a lot time at the shooting range.
“If you're not comfortable with guns, then they're even more dangerous,” Henry Haake said.
2012 and 2011 rank first and second in the number of permit applications received in the six year history of the program.
The largest number of concealed carry permit applications have come out of Sedgwick county with a total of 9,549. That's 2,000 more than the largest county in Kansas, Johnson county.
The largest demographic who applied for permits are men 50 to 60 years old, with a total of 8, 763.
In all, more than 35,000 men have applied for permits versus about 6,000 women.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A record number of people applied for a Kansas license to carry a concealed firearm during the fiscal year that ended June 30, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
Schmidt said that the Concealed Carry Licensing Unit in his office received 12,408 permit applications during the 2012 fiscal year, a 24-percent increase over the 9,418 applications received in fiscal year 2011. The past two fiscal years rank first and second in number of permit applications received in the six-year history of the program.
During the most recent fiscal year, Schmidt’s office received an average of 49 permit applications each and every working day. These figures include only first-time applications and do not include applications for renewal of expiring permits.
“Our Concealed Carry Licensing Unit works diligently to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand for this service,” Schmidt said.
In total, more than 44,000 valid permits are currently issued in Kansas. Through recognition agreements negotiated by the attorney general’s office, Kansas-issued permits are honored by 29 other states. Kansas honors permits issued by 23 other states.