With more than two-million Americans becoming first time gun owners since the start of the new year, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, it’s to be expected that at least some of those folks are going to take the next step and get their concealed carry license. What we’re seeing goes far beyond just a simple spike in concealed carry applications, however. In fact, one Alabama sheriff says he’s never seen anything like this before.
“People are scared,” said Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry. “Everyday, I’m getting a couple hundred phone calls. People don’t know what to expect, so they’re coming out to protect themselves.
Cullman County saw record demand for the permits on Tuesday when 250 applications were processed, which Gentry said easily topped the old record of 115 in a day.
There are about 80,000 residents in Cullman County, and you have to think that a good portion of them already had their concealed carry license. Now folks are literally lining up to join their neighbors in exercising their right to carry.
He said he doesn’t see any letup in the near future. “We had seven to 10 people lined up ready to go this morning,” Gentry said Wednesday.
The demand is so great that the sheriff set up a tent outside the office and dedicated more staff in order to process permits faster.
Both the Shelby County and Morgan County Sheriff’s Offices reported a similar increase in demand for the concealed carry permits.
Gentry said the reason for the increase demand is simple, people want to be able to protect their families.
“I think there’s a fear now of criminals, people that are not peaceful protesters, people that want to do bad things and coming and trying to hurt our community,” he said.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we take a closer look at the record-setting rise in concealed carry applications, as well as delving into a couple of stories involving those who are carrying firearms for self-defense at protests, or as protection against looters.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police are facing questions after arresting and citing a concealed carry holder for disorderly conduct. Omar Buchanan was charged after officers say his “actions were not consistent with someone either utilizing open carry or their CCW.” Buchanan’s friend Brandon Love says the concealed carry holder did nothing wrong.
“As he ran, somehow it fell, his holster fell. He picked it up, put it back,” Love said, to which WISN 12 News asked, “It was still in the holster?”
“In the holster, he never took it out.”
Love said despite having a legal right to carry the gun, police did not return it to Buchanan.
He said Buchanan spent $500 to get out of jail and received a citation for disorderly conduct.
“In compliance with my CCW license my weapon was concealed,” Buchanan wrote in a Facebook post. “This is why we are marching and fighting. Thanks MPD for the disorderly conduct ticket even though I did not commit a crime.”
I’d love to see any body camera footage that the Milwaukee Police Department might have. Given the relatively low-level charge, it doesn’t seem that Buchanan is suspected of any actual crime of violence. So far Chief Alfonso Morales hasn’t commented on Buchanan’s arrest, but I’d really like to hear what he has to say, because at the moment, it appears as if Buchanan’s arrest was unwarranted.
In Worchester, Massachusetts, Tuan Huynh and Tram Huynh say they’ll now be armed to protect their restaurant, which was scheduled to open for business on June 8th. Looters smashed several of the restaurant’s windows during a street violence on Monday evening, and the Huynh’s say police did nothing to stop it from happening.
“They can’t even protect my business and kick[ed] me out of my business, which is wrong,” said Tuan the morning after the damage was done.
Worcester police did not respond to a request to comment on the situation.
Tuan says he’s mad and he’s going to protect his business.
“Everybody is trying to make a living here,” said Tram Huynh. “We don’t have time for them going around damaging other people’s property, it’s just not right … I actually support what they have to do for the human rights. One hundred percent support for what they’ve done, but it comes to this point where it gets too personal and I’m not going to let that happen to my business.”
The longer the riots and looting continues, the louder voices like Huynh’s will become. Protest peacefully, even boisterously, but do not destroy the livelihoods of business owners and their employees. I think both the surge in gun sales and concealed carry license applications will continue for some time, and while I love to see more Americans embracing their Second Amendment rights, I truly wish it wasn’t because of the violence and looting in our streets.