Concealed Carry on the Rise

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Officials say they're issuing them as quick as they can process, concealed carry is seeing huge increases here in the valley.

"Yes, a large increase in the last month, month and a half, every since Connecticut and it's sad," explains Wood County Sheriff, Ken Merritt.

"We've had them lined up from the time we start to the time we end in the afternoon," says Washington County Sheriff's Deputy, Kim Deem, "lined up, phone calls coming in wanting to know what they've got to do to be issued and to renew and get their training as well."

Now many people are finding themselves interested in something they never thought they would be, carrying a gun. "People are scared," says Sheriff Merritt. "They're scared that they're going to lose the protection they have with their families at home, I share a lot of that fear also."

Since just the start of January, Wood County has already seen 148 concealed carry permits, that's 11 working days and more than the entire month of December (Dec. 2011- 87 permits, Dec. 2012- 114 permits).

Washington county has already issued around 44 permits or renewals, which is still higher than they typically see in this short of time. They had just under 100 in the last three months combined.

"Probably all the school shootings and the different tragedies and things that we've had in the past, making people more aware of what can really happen," says Deem, "it's making them more concerned for their safety and maybe the public's safety as well."

Both Wood and Washington County Sheriff's Departments say they believe its a good thing, knowing these people are willing to do it the right way. "That way we know we are getting the proper training, they're knowing how to handle the weapons and how to use them safely, as opposed to just carrying them illegally and possibly harming someone because they aren't sure how to use them," continues Deem.

Those issuing the permits say for many of those getting a permit, the interest isn't just for themselves but their loved ones around them.

"I carry a weapon. I don't do it for me. If you're here right now, I'm carrying that for you, so that I can protect you," explains Sheriff Merritt.

For more on concealed carries, state laws, and which states you can cross the state line with a concealed carry permit, visit one of the link below:

The two states, Ohio and West Virginia, do differ on the specifics for getting your concealed carry, but both do require certified training, an application, a fee, and a background check

More in West Virginia:

More in Ohio:

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