Colorado Springs

El Paso Co. gun permits issued in 2016 skyrocketed

Gun permits nearly double in 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Concealed carry permits nearly doubled in 2016 with close to an additional 3,000 issued.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office released data showing 7,109 gun permits were issued in 2016, compared to 4,227 permits issued in 2015.

Dwight Hall started his gun collection in the 1970's, but he admits not all of them are 'for show.'

"It's that assurance that you have that tool to use and the ability," he said.

Hill believes the tragedies on Black Friday and Halloween last year have influenced gun buyers.

The three months with the biggest spike in new gun permits was between January to March. This is just a few months after these tragic shootings. 

Jeff Lepp, owner of Specialty Sports in Colorado Springs said these 'increases' aren't just a coincidence.

"When you have something big happen in the city, it's a big ripple here and people are very concerned," he said. "They go 'oh my god' I shop over there or by daughter lives by there."

Lepp said he saw this trend start even earlier with police shootings.

"They feel like if people are willing to shoot police, than what else are they willing to do," he said.

However, not everyone in the market for a gun is doing it for protection.

"The shootings don't pose a threat to me at all," said Jim Stallings. "I don't have a gun and I don't think people need a gun."

Lepp said he hopes new gun owners get the training necessary to prevent future tragedies.

"We are human, we all make mistakes," Hall said.  "But the chances of making a mistake is far less if you have the proper training."

Lepp said he saw a significant increase in the amount of women and senior citizens purchasing guns since last years shootings.

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