Russell County has seen a rash of applications for concealed carry permits (concealed deadly weapons) in recent months, and a trend that has been increasing over the past couple of years, according to clerks with the Russell County Sheriff’s Department.
According to statistics provided by Lisa Whittle of the sheriff’s office, there have been 104 conceal carry permit applications since January 1 of this year. This compares to a total of 91 new permit applications for all of 2011, with a significant increase in 2012 of a total of 214 applications.
Projected out for the entirety of 2013, if the current rate of applications continue, there will be over 750 new applications for a conceal carry permit of a deadly weapon in Russell County.
The office was reluctant to speculate on the causes in increase in applications, but noted that women began applying more after a violent event in the county last year and that it seemed another surge began after the recent uptick in school shootings throughout the country in the past few months.
She noted that recently a family of six all received their conceal carry permit.
Sheriff Lee Smith said that the office has not received any increases in calls relating to or involving weapons but that his office has been recently receiving calls to stand against any federal attempts to limit gun ownership.
“I’m a law enforcement officer, not a law maker, and it is my job to enforce the laws that are made,” said Smith. “As far as a position on guns, I really don’t have one,” he said, but clarifying he absolutely supports the second amendment.
“I have my guns and I love my guns as much as anybody, but it still doesn’t change the position I’m in,” Smith said.
People are the ones who have the power to make changes in the law through putting pressure on their representatives, Smith said.
Smith said he didn’t foresee any problems with the number of conceal carry permits but that everyone must follow the laws as to how, when and where you can carry a concealed weapon.
“Since the law went into effect the people have been able to carry concealed weapons, I’ve not seen any change,” Smith said.
I’ve not had any incidence that I’m aware of anyone carrying a concealed weapon that’s licensed that’s caused any problems at all.”