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Bulloch gun permit applications jump
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    Gun permit requests have skyrocketed in Bulloch County during the past two months, with the Bulloch County Probate Court receiving 125 weapons carry permit applications in December.
    Bulloch County Probate Judge Lee DeLoach said the election and recent violence are reasons why gun permit applications more than doubled over last year’s count during that month.
    “The biggest spike came in December,” he said. The reasons are likely “the turbulent political climate and recent shootings in (Newtown, Conn.) and other places.”
    For the most part, gun permit applications in 2012 were higher each month than in the previous year. That trend was more pronounced beginning in October, which saw a spike from 59 permits requested in 2011 to 88 this year.
    Another 88 were requested in November, up from 57 in 2011. But December’s number more than doubled, with 125 as of Friday, compared to only 56 applications in December 2011, DeLoach said.
    There were 652 weapons carry permit applications in 2011, but that number jumped to 860 in 2012.
    There is an eight-week processing period for a permit to carry a firearm, and it costs $72.25. The bulk of that fee goes to the county coffers, but a portion goes to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.
    Before the Nov. 6 general election and the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown, the Bulloch County Probate Office saw around 10 weapons carry permit applications a week. Recent months showed up to “20 a day,” at times, DeLoach said.
    “Between November and December, it is the biggest jump we have had,” he said.
    More women seem to be coming in to obtain gun permits than before, but the applicants are of all ages and genders.
    “They are all across the board,” DeLoach said. “Many people are unsure of what the future holds (regarding legislation and talk of gun control) and they have a desire to protect themselves, their families and property. The uncertainty is unsettling to many people.”
    Many people aren’t clear on the purpose of a weapons carry permit. A permit is not needed to keep a gun in your home or business, or even your vehicle, DeLoach said. Even a gun in a glove box or under your truck seat doesn’t require a permit.
    But a firearm in your purse, pocket or a holster anywhere on your body means you must have a license to carry, he said.
    The permit also serves as a form of identification and has a bar code and your photo. Anyone with a license to carry doesn’t need a background check to purchase a firearm, he said.
    Anyone with questions about the weapons carry permit may call the Bulloch County Probate Court at (912) 489-8749.
   
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.   

Gun Permit Applications Web
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