NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Applications for handgun purchase permits are up in New Hanover County.
The sheriff's office received more than 200 in the month of December 2012, compared to less than 120 in the same month a year earlier.
Sgt. Jerry Brewer said it would be naïve to consider the increase a result of any one event. In fact, he said applications have been increasing for the last couple of years. He attributes the rise in ownership to heightened awareness of guns.
"More people are becoming gun aware," he said. "People are teaching their wives and daughters how to shoot which that was not necessarily the case."
The number of applications does not reflect the number of new owners for several reasons. One is that applicants can be denied by the sheriff's office for questionable criminal or mental health backgrounds.
Brewer said a second possibility is multiple applications from one owner. An application covers up to three purchases, so a gun enthusiast would have to reapply to buy a fourth, fifth or six gun, according to Brewer.
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