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Requests for Gun Permits Soar

August 10th, 2009 by flanews

The state is processing 50,000 requests for conceal carry gun licenses, with thousands more pouring in every month. Floridians are stocking up on guns and as Whitney Ray tells us the state may need to change deadline restrictions to keep up with all the paper work.

Applications for conceal-carry licenses are up 67 percent over a year ago. The state has 90 days to process the requests. Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson says his staff cant keep up.

That law was put into place when we had a normally 14,000 a year application rate. Now weve got 14,000 a month, said Bronson.

The state is on pace to issue 150,000 permits by the end of the year. 50,000 are pending right now. Only two percent of applicants are denied.

We are giving them the licenses as we get to them and that is all we can do, said Bronson.

The flood of applications coincides with a surge in gun sales. Floridians began loading up once President Barack Obama won the election, fearing the new leader would push tougher restrictions. Pawn Shop Owner Mark Folmar says the economy has also played a role.

A lot of people are looking at the economic times that we have and feeling like there might be more crime, that there might be more need for self protection, said Folmar.

People arent just loading up on guns. Ammo is also selling out. The Department of Agriculture says more legally concealed guns doesnt mean more crime. Just 1/10th of one percent with permits have committed a crime with their weapon.

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