Pistol permits for citizens in “Danbury [Connecticut] and seven surrounding towns” are running “30 percent” above the previous record, set in the post-Sandy Hook climate of 2013.
One of the biggest motivators for the current surge in permits is concern over the government’s inability to protect citizens from violence.
According to The News-Times:
“Without a doubt, we saw a dramatic increase in 2013 after the events of Dec. 14, 2012, and we are seeing it spike again this year,” said Newtown Police Chief James Viadero, referring to the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
“People say ‘Chief, I would just like to have a gun in the home for personal protection,’ and you have to admit they do have a legitimate concern, Viadero said. “You had the event at the Pulse in Orlando and then Dallas happened last week, and now you wake up and see what just happened in France.”
Bethel First Selectman Mike Knickerbocker spoke to the spike in permits by suggesting another driving force is the fear of more gun control. He said, “It’s a national trend that gun sales and permit applications spike after a mass shooting hits the news, and Bethel is part of that trend. People think ‘Oh no, this is going to be the event that makes Congress restrict guns, so I better get one now.’”
Knickerbocker’s observation is apropos, as the town of Bethel has issued more permits January through June 2016 than it did in all of 2013. And Bethel Police Chief Jeffrey Finch made clear the desire for gun ownership goes beyond handguns alone. He said, “People I know who couldn’t be bothered with guns before now want to get an AR-15, because they think their right to buy one is going to be taken away.”
Finch also pointed out that the spike in permits comes at a time when “crime is down.” But people do not feel safe, and “perception can be every bit as serious as the facts.” He said, “The government still tells us that they are taking care of everything, but nobody believes that anymore.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.