The horrific shootings in Aurora have caused many in the country to fear for their safety in places where they normally not think twice about it. One …
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The horrific shootings in Aurora have caused many in the country to fear for their safety in places where they normally not think twice about it.
One of the avenues that many are using to feel safer is purchasing a gun and obtaining a conceal-and-carry permit.
“We’ve seen a huge jump, a 35 percent increase,” Mark Techmeyer, public information officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said about permit applications. “Normally on a given day, we have between 10 to 15 applications. We’re now averaging about 39 a day.”
According to Techmeyer, the department received 43 applications on July 20, followed by 40 applications on Monday, June 23; 36 applications on the 24th; 27 applications on the 25th and at least 30 on July 26. The figures include applications for renewal of permits.
“Conceal-and-carry permit applications are really steady year-round,” Techmeyer said. “But after incidents like this, you usually see a spike.”
Reviewing applications and issuing conceal-and-carry permits is a regular service of the sheriff’s office in Jefferson and Adams counties. In 2011 Adams County had 1,155 people apply for permits and 1,038 were issued; while in Jefferson County, 2,672 applications were filed and 2,283 were sold.
“It’s a steady thing for us,” said Terrance O’Neill, public information officer for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. “We get applications and sell permits every day.”
These days those who wish to get a permit can find most of the information on how it is done online, and both Adams and Jefferson county sheriff’s websites have the full details on the documentation required to get permits.
In both counties, an application must be filled out, then signed in person at the sheriff’s office. The application includes questions about past criminal history, and alcohol and drug use. Applicants also must present proof of residency, pay a fee, submit fingerprints for a background check and have a proof-of-training certificate.
Both counties make note of the fact that online handgun-training courses are not acceptable, nor are hunters’ safety courses. To be valid, the applicant must have received training in person by a qualified trainer. The Jefferson County website states the class must be “a law enforcement training firearms safety course; a firearms safety course offered by a law enforcement agency, an institution of higher education, or a public or private institution or organization or firearms training school, that is open to the general public and is taught by a certified instructor; or a firearms safety course or class that is offered and taught by a certified instructor. “
The process to review applications in either county takes about 90 days, and Techmeyer said it is extremely thorough.
Once a year all the county sheriff departments must report to the general assembly how many permit applications they received, how many they approved, and the reasons for denying those that were not approved.
Techmeyer said it is important to note that having a conceal-and-carry permit doesn’t give blanket permission to fire anywhere.
“If you are in a situation when you had to use yourgun, it has to be determined by a court if that use is justified,” he said, although permit holders are not required to notify anyone when they fire.
Nor does a conceal-and-carry permit give its owner the right to carry the firearm anywhere. Techmeyer said that anyone who owns a private business has the right to determine what can be used there, and a permit doesn’t mean holders can ignore the owner’s wishes.
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