The number of people applying for concealed weapons permits in Southern Oregon is up dramatically.
In order to carry a concealed weapon, you need a permit issued through the Sheriff's Department. Keeping up with the sudden increase in demand for those permits is becoming a challenge.
Since the Sandy Hook School shooting and the gun control fallout that's followed, NRA certified instructor Greg Reeser has been very busy conducting classes required to obtain a concealed weapons permit. He said, "Now I'm pretty much seven days a week, as far as instruction is concerned. I would say 75% of my students are ladies now."
The local Sheriff Departments confirm they are seeing a spike in concealed weapons permit applications. Jackson County Sheriff Sgt. Bob Grantham said, "We probably handle somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 a day normally. That's up probably to perhaps 30, maybe 40 a day on average. He clarified that number includes not only applications for new permits, but also renewals.
"From time to time, we do work overtime to get caught up," said Grantham.
Oregon Statute allows 45 days for an application to be approved or denied. Reeser claimed, "I was told the other day by one of my students that she was quoted three months waiting time to get her license in Jackson County."
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department wouldn't say how long it's currently taking to process the applications, but said with the increased demand it can go beyond the 45 days. Grantham said, "If we do not either issue the permit or deny it within the 45 day period of time, the applicant can take the matter in front of a judge. (They) can request a hearing in front of a judge to make that determination of whether we should issue or not issue.
Meanwhile, the Josephine County Sheriff's Department claims it's seeing a 60% to 65% increase recently in applications for concealed weapons permits. However, the department didn't return our calls to say how long its permit process is taking.