The number of applications for one of the most popular conceal carry permits in the United States has skyrocketed since the deadly mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December. This surge is likely due to concern about the changing state laws across the nation and the fact that Utah’s conceal carry permit is recognized in 33 other states.
The state of Utah released the latest quarterly data on the number of conceal firearm applications received by its division of public safety. The number of applicants during the first quarter of this year (the first quarter post-Sandy Hook shooting) shows a notable increase from the corresponding months of 2012.
Comparison of 2012/2013 1st quarter CCW requests:
“I have heard that the procedures and systems in Utah work quite well,” Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) told Breitbart News about the Utah firearms background check on Wednesday. “It’s a relatively efficient process. You complete the forms. You get the necessary instruction and make all the necessary disclosures and once you’ve done your part the state does its part relatively quickly and you’re either granted or you’re not granted [a permit]. I suspect that is why it is a popular permit to get,” he added.
When Utah public safety officials background checked over 23,000 applicants in December of 2012, it was about 10,000 more than November. Before December 2012, Utah government public safety officials were performing an average number of about 8,200 background checks per month, which is artificially inflated by the spike in December. It should be noted that the number of background checks for the Utah permit in December 2011 was only 12,932, half what the December 2012 requests were.
Utah Department of Public Safety Firearms Supervisor Jason Chapman told The Salt Lake Tribune in January that about 70 percent of the 77,062 concealed weapon permits issued in 2012 were out of state applicants.
In fact, in the midst of Congress and state governments examining new gun control laws, Utah conceal carry-permit application numbers remain relatively higher than at the same time last year. When President Barack Obama was first elected, background checks for the Utah permit spiked between November of 2008 and January of 2009.
The Utah state legislature recently passed a new conceal carry law, which would allow legal firearm owners who are residents of the state to conceal carry without a permit. However, the weapon is required to be unloaded for this privilege, otherwise carrying a loaded concealed firearm will continue for the holder to have a permit.