Applications for concealed-carry permits are skyrocketing in many states amid the growing concern about law enforcement.
The soaring interest in being allowed to carry concealed guns in public is in part due to increasing concern that new gun-control legislation could be put in place to limit firearm access, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"I suppose it's the same reason people are reporting gun sales are up and ammunition sales are up," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The 2012 mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Col., sparked a great deal of debate about the ease of acquiring a firearm in the country. Many states, however, ha passed laws making it easier to attain a conceal-carry permit and allowing people with a permit to carry their guns in more places.
Ohio will likely double the 2012 total of 65,000 concealed-carry permits this year. Since July 1, 2012, Florida issued more than 173,000 new concealed-carry permits, up 17 percent since the year prior. Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin also show an 18 percent increase in permits since this time last year.
Thomas Dart, a sheriff in Cook County, Ill., told the Wall Street Journal that more guns on the street doesn’t reduce crime, in fact it “makes our job more difficult.”
"Without the gun, it's a fistfight. With the gun, it's a shooting," Dart explained.
While many applicants say carrying a gun makes them feel safer, Craig Steckler, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, claimed he only knew of "one instance in which someone effectively defended himself" with a firearm in 21 years as police chief in Fremont, Calif.
Most of the time, he said, "it's a whole lot of cases of guns being used not in ways they're designed: kids shooting themselves, gun-cleaning accidents, crimes of passion, that sort of thing."
While conservative commentator and economist John Lott argues that statistics show concealed-carry laws reduce violent crime, the National Research Council disputes links between concealed-carry laws and drops in crime.
"Everyone has the right to be responsible for his or her own personal safety," said Bob McGinty, in Golden Valley, Minn. McGinty obtained a concealed-carry permit this year as Minnesota just made them not only easier to get, but cheaper.