Given the worry surrounding the Colorado movie theater slaying, background checks for concealed weapons permits have jumped tremendously across the country. Recent data indicates the jump is as much as 14% in Florida. That translates to an extra 2,386 requests for permits in the week since the shooting at The Dark Knight Rises premier in Aurora.
People across the country have moved to get concealed weapons permits partially out of a desire for protection and partially out of fear that increased government regulations may be lurking in the not so distant future. While the whole country has seen a surge in gun purchases, the bump in Florida puts the state very close to an important milestone.
Currently, Florida has around 950,000 citizens with concealed weapons permits which means the state is getting very close to becoming the first state in the nation to issue one million such permits. According to the Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, Florida issues around 15,000 such permits each month which should mean the state crosses the million mark around the end of the year.
The most armed county in the state is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Miami-Dade, which had almost 85,000 concealed weapons permits issued at the end of June. Broward County is a close second with 74,439 concealed weapon permit holders and Palm Beach County comes in third with 60,315 permits.
The state already has a high percentage of gun ownership and corresponding high numbers of concealed carry permits, about one in every 17 Floridians can legally carry a firearm. Despite the high numbers, the government has taken steps to make it even easier for residents to get such permits. As of July 1, a new state law lowered the cost for a concealed weapons permit from $85 to $70, and a renewal license from $70 to $60.
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