Gun permits on the rise nationally and in Nebraska - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Gun permits on the rise nationally and in Nebraska

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By: Sabrina Ahmed

Across the country, more people are interested in buying guns since last Friday's mass shooting. We did some checking, and here locally, to see if that's the case.  And it looks like the numbers say yes.

After such a horrific event last Friday, Nebraskans are looking for their own ways to feel safe. Many people are turning to owning their own guns. Applications for permits to purchase guns have increased by 43 percent since Friday, compared to the same time period last year. That means an average of 10 permits per day have been applied for to purchase guns. Also interesting, the number of women to purchase gun permits during this time increased by 66%.

Craig Schnieder is a regular gun purchaser and instructor. He says he understands why more people are buying guns. "Well there's certainly a concern-people want to be able to protect themselves and they feel that they have that right," Schnieder said.

But Sheriff Terry Wagner says just because people are purchasing the permits, doesn't mean they are buying the guns. He also says he cant guarantee a correlation between the Colorado incident and gun permits here.

"That certainly is a large increase in handgun purchase permits," Sheriff Wagner said.

It's also important to note, if a person's purchase permit expires, they are still allowed to own a gun. They can carry the gun at all times without a permit, so long as it isn't hidden. The only time a gun owner needs to have a license after buying one is if they carry and conceal it.

"Like I said with rights comes responsibility and in order to exercise that right, you have to be responsible to do it," Schnieder said.

The Sheriff says, while this might not change anything right now, with more people owning guns, there is also more potential for unskilled gun users.

"It's something that definitely bears watching," Sheriff Wagner said.

The increase interest in guns is not surprising. Everyone we talked to say after a deadly incident like the one in Colorado, permits and applications always go up.

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