The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Locals loading up on weapons

More residents of Johnson County may be carrying concealed weapons this year — the demand for the license to do so has soared.

The increase, which has also been seen across the county, may be a result of fears that President Obama will push anti-gun legislation, making it more difficult to purchase weapons.

With three months’ worth of permits still uncounted, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has doled out four times more new gun licenses compared with 2008. The department issued 117 new licenses this year, up from 30 in 2008. They have given out a total of 290 permits, according to Lt. Raquel Wray with the Johnson County Sheriff Department.

UI Sportsman’s Club representative Dan Sussna said the numbers likely jumped because of the election of President Obama.

“People freaked out after Obama got elected,” he said. “They got concerned their liberties would be affected.”

Fin & Feather gunsmith Pat Childs agreed.

“People are afraid they’re going to ban guns and ammo, so they’re buying up whatever they can right now,” he said.

This year, the 125 Highway 1 store has consistently been short on supplies.

“A lot of the ammo calibers just aren’t available right now; it’s been that way all year,” he said.

He said that personal defense and expensive ammos are hard for the store to acquire, especially for handguns.

“[The supply] doesn’t come anywhere close to meeting the demand,” he said.

Ammo sales have soared nationally, putting pressure on suppliers such as Childs to keep up.

Americans bought around 9 billion rounds of ammo this year, 2 billion more than average, according to the National Rifle Association.

A greater number of new citizens with permission to carry weapons could be a reason for the local shortage, Childs said.

Sussna agreed local citizens are looking to protect their families and homes, but the increase in carry permits seems surprising to him.

“I don’t see the reason why 117 people would need concealed carry permits; you don’t need one of those to defend your home,” he said. “I’ve got a shotgun underneath my bed, but I don’t need a concealed-carry permit for that.”

UI Sportsman’s Club President Anthony Leon said he would carry if he could.

“I’m not 21, otherwise I would apply for one,” he said. “I’d like to have a permit to carry just in case the need occurred. People are just trying to protect themselves, most likely.”

Millions of Americans across the country are also arming themselves.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported that 6.1 million background checks for gun sales were issued from January to May, an increase of 25.6 percent from the same period the year before.

Childs said the consumer uptick on weaponry has been interesting to witness.

“It has been quite a phenomenon,” he said.

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