KUSA – The number of people who applied for concealed carry permit applications in Colorado so far this year is nearly double the number recorded during the same time period in 2015.
Records from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation show 31,603 eligible, concealed handgun permit applications in the first five months of 2016. The same time period in 2015 recorded just 16,431 applications.
“This is emotional. This is what happens when people start feel like they’re not safe,” said Jacob Paulsen, President of Colorado Firearm Training.
Paulsen said local, tragic events like the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs convinced some gun owners to apply for concealed carry permits.
“I call them the fence sitters or the procrastinators,” Paulsen explained. “They’ve always wanted to take some action. They’ve always wanted to be proactive, but they’ve put it off, and these kinds of events push people over the edge.”
Paulsen pointed to politics, too. Permit applications in Colorado spiked in 2013 after President Obama was reelected. There were 63,178 eligible, concealed carry applications in 2013 according to CBI records.
“Any time you have a Democrat elected into the presidential office, gun sales skyrocket,” Paulsen said. “It is guaranteed. It is like clockwork.”
Paulsen said mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, Connecticut impacted the numbers in 2013 as well. He expects the recent mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida will have a similar impact this year.
“These emotional, tragic, awful events push people forward,” he said.
Paulsen anticipates the number of concealed carry applications to surge again in the fall ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He also expects an increase in concealed carry training and gun sales through Election Day.