Shootings spurred a spike in permits for concealed carry
Last year’s fatal shootings on Halloween and Black Friday pushed this year’s number of concealed carry permits issued in El Paso County to nearly double that of 2015.
Through November, the El Paso County Sheriff ’s Office approved 7,100 new concealed carry handgun permits, compared with 4,227 through November of last year.
Driving the sharp spike was two fourth-quarter shootings in 2015 that resulted in the random deaths of six people including a police officer, said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Natalie Sosa.
“It’s the only thing we can purport,” she said. “We noticed an increase after those two incidents.”
New approvals reached a monthly high in January of 1,157 countywide, which would make sense, Sosa said, since it takes a little time for applicants to complete the process.
The sheriff’s office also renewed 3,086 permits through November, compared with 2,157 for the first 11 months of last year. Permits are up for renewal every five years.
Representatives from local gun shops and shooting ranges aren’t surprised about this year’s surge.
“The world is a dangerous place,” said Kim Shugart, an owner and spokesman for Magnum Shooting Center in Colorado Springs. “Horrible things happen, and people want to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
The industry has burgeoned over the last decade, he said.
“Society is more scary than it’s ever been,” Shugart said, “It’s a positive thing that people are taking an interest in wanting to protect themselves, their families, their communities, but they must be properly trained.”
The number of people obtaining concealed carry permits has been strong for years in the Republicandominant El Paso County, which has led the state for several years.
El Paso County, Colorado’s second-most populous county after the city and county of Denver, received a total of 7,527 applications in 2015. Denver County handled 1,752. Jefferson County was second, with 4,965 applications.