The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 5, 2013

OSBI sees record number of gun applications in Jan.

Staff and wire reports
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said it received a record number of initial gun license applications last month.

OSBI says it’s seen “an enormous influx” of applications for the past several months.

In January, the agency received 4,970 initial applications — the highest number since Oklahoma began licensing guns in January 1996.

In comparison, the agency received 1,861 initial applications in January 2012 and 1,515 applications in January 2011.

OSBI wouldn’t speculate on a reason for the increase, saying the gun licensing process is lengthy and therefore difficult to pinpoint to specific events, such as the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles said his office has been processing a large number of applicants.

“Yes, oh yes. We’re scheduling as many a possible each day. There is a lot of grumbling because people are pushed back. We’re scheduled to later this month,” Niles said.

Requests for conceal and carry licenses is seasonal and events driven, he said. Whenever there are events involving increased burglaries or violent home invasions there will be an increase.

“We’ve noticed it’s a byproduct of two things, the president’s attention on modifying gun ownership and the president and what’s happening in Congress, Niles said.

The shootings in Newtown had no effect, he said. Niles said here have been other mass shootings in the United States that also had no effect on local gun license applications.

He said attempts to reinstate a ban on assault weapons has been a concern to some people.