December sees uptick in handgun permits

  • Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 11:22 p.m.

SALISBURY — Authorities saw a significant increase in handgun purchase permits in December, records show.

Rowan deputies issued 678 handgun purchase permits between their Salisbury and Landis offices — an uptick of more than 200 from November and up from 293 in October.

Records show 312 applications were completed in December. Each application can account for up to five handgun purchase permits.

But ascertaining the reason behind the boom is borderline impossible, said Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Capt. John Sifford.

“I don’t know how much of that’s Christmas and how much of that is concern that (legislators) may enact laws that may make it very hard for a law-abiding citizen to purchase a weapon,” Sifford said.

Sifford, who personally reviews handgun applications for the county, said recent local gun shows, the presidential election and the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary?School in Connecticut that killed 26, including 20 children, also factored into the rise in applications.

“Historically, we always seem to have an increase in December because people do purchase them as gifts,” Sifford said. “I think in this particular year the election outcome played some part in it.”

Gun advocates feared that Democratic President Barack Obama would push for tighter restrictions on firearms in his second term, even before a gunman used an assault weapon to attack elementary school students Dec. 14.

“And with the shooting in Connecticut, I do know that we definitely experienced an increase in purchase permit applications after that,” Sifford said. “We’ve had a lot here in the last several weeks.”

Following the elementary school massacre, at least one Salisbury gun owner said semi-automatic assault-style rifles were being purchased before the firearms were even delivered to the store.

The owner attributed the sales boom to a fear lawmakers would enact new gun-control policies.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.