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Oklahoma issued record number of concealed carry permits in 2012

Nearly 40,000 concealed carry permits were issued in Oklahoma last year, the highest total ever recorded.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: January 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013

“There is just a lot of uncertainty, especially around elections,” Burger said. “People don't know what's coming, so it's that fear of the unknown.

“People are in a rush to get something people are telling them they can't have … even if they haven't told them anything yet.”

Burger said he believes the mass shootings of 2012, including the deadly attacks at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and a movie theater near Denver, have little to do with an increase in concealed carry permits.

“After Sandy Hook, things turned into a madhouse around here. Not so much with the Colorado thing,” he said. “But I don't know that people going out and buying guns means they are going out and getting concealed carry permits.

“Like I said, people just want to do something if they think there's a chance they won't be able to anymore. And that comes back to a fear of legislation.”

Dave Therio, a college student from Newalla, is in the process of getting his concealed carry permit through the Cleveland County sheriff's office.

Therio said he has lived in neighborhoods “where I feared for my safety” and once had his apartment broken into.

“Not something I want to go through again,” he said. “So, I decided I better go get a permit while I can.”

Therio said gun owners, in general, are “intimidated” by the president and his position on firearms.

He said Obama's proposals and general attitude toward guns motivated him, in part, to apply for a concealed carry permit last week.

“If something was to happen and there were more restrictions, I'd rather be grandfathered in now then find out later they're putting the hold on them,” Therio said. “I don't think he has the manpower to take all the guns, but I think he can make it more restrictive.”

Mike Mathews, owner of Gun World in Del City, said he believes the large number of news reports on gun violence and gun control — even before the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary — may be driving the increase in concealed carry permits.

Mathews said he believes Obama has little to do with any trends in guns sales or concealed carry permits.

“I think it's all the stuff they read in the media,” Mathews said.

“I don't know what makes people do what they do … but they watch the news and the media and develop a need based on what they see.”