Pistol Permit Applications Skyrocket In Jefferson County

Pistol Permit Applications Skyrocket In Jefferson County

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In 2016, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department gave out 850 pistol permits - more than double the number it gave out in 2015 and nearly triple what it gave out in 2014.

In some cases, that can be attributed to the national news.

For example, in the months following the San Bernardino shooting, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department saw a jump in permit applications.

"Sometimes you can draw a correlation between current events, active shooter situations, and sometimes you can draw a correlation between either pending or legislation that has been passed," said Jefferson County Sheriff Colleen O'Neill.

Legislation like the NY SAFE Act, which passed in January 2013.

That year just over 600 permits were given out.

O'Neill says her department has also seen a jump in the number of amendments to permits in the last several years.

"Between 2011 and 2016, those numbers have doubled from like 1,200 to over 2,500," she said.

An amendment is when someone either sells or adds a pistol to their permit.

So far this year, nearly 2,500 amendments have been made as well.

On each application, the sheriff's department asks people why they're getting one. O'Neill says most say it's for safety.

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