Interest in Personal Protection Flourishes in America’s Heartland
A pair of neighboring states located in the center of the country are representative of a national trend of law-abiding Americans acquiring permits to carry firearms for personal protection—and they appear to be doing so at a record-breaking pace.
Last week, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), the agency entrusted with authorizing handgun licenses (what Oklahoma calls its concealed-carry permits) under the state’s Self-Defense Act, reports it received a record number of first-time handgun license applications in January, shattering the previous high set in 1996.
The 4,970 initial applications accepted by OSBI last month outnumbered the previous high, set in February 1996, the second month after enactment of the Self-Defense Act, by more than 1,000. Including renewals, the state agency received 6,107 handgun license applications in January.
The 39,875 concealed-carry permits issued by OSBI in 2012 bested the previous year’s total by more than 15,000.
According to an agency press release, the OSBI has hired more full-time and part-time workers for the Self Defense Unit and is using employees in other divisions of OSBI to assist in handling initial gun-licensing applications.
To the north, Kansas also set a single-month record in January for the number of new concealed-carry permit applications, according to a press release from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
The Attorney General’s Concealed Carry Handgun Unit received 3,167 applications last month, topping the previous one-month record set in March 2012, when 1,651 Kansans applied for concealed-carry permits.
The Kansas Concealed Carry Program was established in 2006 by the Kansas Personal Family Protection Act (KSA 76-7c-01), with the first permits issued in 2007. Currently, 52,317 Kansans have active permits to carry concealed handguns.