Report: Sharp increase in gun permits issued in Connecticut last year

Rifles on display at a Connecticut gun store (file).

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Many more people applied for gun permits last year than the year before. According to the Norwich Bulletin, there was a 73 percent jump during that period. Some believe it’s partly because of last year’s presidential election.

The paper reports the increase was for pistol permit applications from 2015 to 2016. The reason is fear…but not fear of violence and crime. The best guess is that all those people suddenly wanted guns because they were afraid of Democrats. At least what Democrats might do to their second amendment rights.

That fear made for a big increase. The Norwich Bulletin reports that in 2015, 17,327 people applied for state handgun permits. In 2016 that jumped all the way up to 29,941. That is an increase of more than 12,600, or almost 73 percent more.

The paper says the main reason was fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency. We saw this before when people were afraid President Obama was going to take away their guns. Likewise, people worried that Secretary Clinton was going to win in November and try for sweeping national gun restrictions. During the campaign, she promised to expand background checks, close the loopholes for gun shows and internet sales, and take guns away from domestic abusers and the mentally ill.

The fear of that happening is one reason for the big jump in gun permits. Another is the fear of what Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy might do on the state level. That fear has started to come true. Governor Malloy has proposed increasing the cost of a 5-year pistol permit from $70 to $300.

Now I mentioned we had seen this before. After a mentally ill man with an assault rifle killed 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there were worries the federal government would take action, and the state did crack down on assault weapons and restrict ammunition purchases.

Sandy Hook happened in December of 2012. In that year, Connecticut issued 17,496 pistol permits. Then, after Sandy Hook, that jumped up to 26,672 in 2013.

After no changes in federal gun laws, that number came back down to 18,000 in 2014, stayed about the same in 2015, then we had the big jump last year. We’ve seen the pattern before, it’s just the jump has never been this big before.

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