Concealed Weapons Permit applications are on the rise in South Carolina, with some local weapons instructors reporting that permit classes are booked for the next 60 days.
State records show reports say 39,311 Concealed Weapons Permits were issued in 2011, while at years-end in 2012, 61,000 applications were filed.
Locally, DeWayne Saunders of DES Training in Rock Hill says those figures are mirrored in York County with a staggering number of registrants for beginner’s pistol courses.
Saunders says class registrations started spiking this summer, well before the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school — and even with the high-profile tragedy in December, it’s not the overriding reason his students say they are looking to carry concealed weapons.
Saunders says his company’s concealed weapons permit classes are sold out through March, and training course registrations nearly doubled last year.
State records show in 2010, the latest year in which figures are available, 5,079 citizens in York County held concealed carry permits. That same year, 1,181 new permits were issued while 494 renewals were submitted. 29 of those new or renewal applications were denied.