Requests for gun permits skyrocket in Mecklenburg Co.

Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff's Office (WBTV)
Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff's Office (WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – The official count for 2015 isn’t quite over, but the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is on track to issue far more gun permits than this time last year.

For the last three months of 2015, they’ve green-lighted more than 1,300 firearms permits – compared to just over 900 from 2014. Recent events in San Bernardino California as well as the desire for personal protection helps explain the drive for demand.

At the sheriff’s office Wednesday, more hands were needed to keep up with those wanting to register. Larry Edmond of the MCSO was there to handle the crowds.

“We needed the extra manpower so we can get more hands on running the background checks for the concealed carry or the purchase permits as well,” Edmond said.

Neal Harp was among those having to wait.

“You got to know who’s buying guns,” Harp said. “You got to know who’s out there. Who’s legal, who’s not legal.”

Anita Foster wasn’t concerned with the wait either. She took the time to explain why she was getting her permit.

“I don’t feel threatened, but I do feel concerned about the crime rate here in the city,” Foster said. “Being a female at work – and the work that I do – I just feel that I would be better served knowing how to protect myself.”

During the fiscal year between 2013 and 2014, nearly 8,000 permits were issued.

A spokesperson from the MCSO told WBTV that at the rate things are going, Mecklenburg County may be on track to tie those numbers when the new fiscal year starts in July of 2016.

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