As gun sales spike across the U.S., the number of concealed handgun licenses has increased significantly in Lubbock County. There are a few factors as to why so many residents have decided to hold a CHL.
Self defense is on the mind of many Americans, as hand gun sales are booming across the nation. Here at home, Texas DPS certified concealed handgun license instructor Michael Palmer says new permits issued to Lubbock County residents have risen significantly in just one year.
"In 2013 there were 3,645 licenses approved. That's not active, that's approved," Palmer said. "That number is 60 percent higher than it was in 2012."
Sharp Shooters Knife & Gun retail manager JD Clay says firearm sales are typically slower this time of year, but if you look at the big picture over the last five years, the industry is booming.
"Sales are still good for firearms," Clay said. "I think it's something in the industry that you'll never see cease come to an end."
Clay attributes the increase in sales to more people knowing about guns, and an increase in both women and a younger generation joining the industry.
During the fall, Clay says sales are geared toward hunting purposes, and during the holidays, buyers look toward concealed handguns for personal safety or a new hobby.
CHL classes have shortened from more than a 10-hour day of training to just six hours. Palmer says that combined with the city's ranking on Forbes list of dangerous cities, have pushed people to obtain permits.
"We've had people say, you know, 'I didn't want to commit the time before, but I will now,'" Palmer said. "The other thing is, people are waking up to the fact that Lubbock is the sixth most violent city in the United States per capita."
There is no waiting period to buy a gun here in Texas and a CHL is not required, but some paperwork and a background check are necessary to determine if the buyer can legally purchase the firearm.