Rising gun sales and conceal-carry permits: growing trend in turbulent economy?


by Melanie Kahn


Posted on January 24, 2010 at 12:54 AM

Updated Sunday, Jan 24 at 5:14 PM

(WHAS11)  It’s a growing trend in a turbulent economy.

Conceal-carry gun permits are on the rise, especially among people you might not expect to be packing heat.

What’s spiking the increase?

It may be loud, and to some, frightening, but to gun owners it is comforting sound; people training to get their concealed weapons permits.

Barry Laws, OpenRange CEO said, “I’ve been surprised.  I thought we would only have 5 or 6 to a class.”

That was three and half years ago, when OpenRange first started holding concealed weapons permit classes.

Now that number has risen to about 20 to 25 people per class, with the fastest growing population being women and the elderly.

Barry Laws believes the increase is the result of growing safety concerns.  “It seems like we hear a lot more about break-ins and break-and-entering(s), and just general ill-ease with what’s going on in the world.”

People we spoke with, taking the class, seem to agree.

Vickie Green, who took the class; ”We’ve had break-ins in our home.  And luckily we weren’t home at the time, so it’s just very comforting. I just feel safer knowing that I’ve had the training and if I ever need it, I can use it.”

But not everyone is excited to get their permit.

One student, a self-labeled liberal, described his decision to take the class as ‘grim.’  “…the number of shootings that have been going on in schools and different kinds of shootings that have been occurring, the public areas and areas where you wouldn’t necessarily think were particularly dangerous.” 

Another student said; “I had a daughter and it was only after then I started thinking about purchasing a firearm for home defense and it just kind of progressed to this.”

In order to get your concealed weapons permit in Kentucky, taking one of these classes is required.

After a person successfully completes the class, it takes about three months for state police to do background checks and issue the permit.