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Pistol permit applications soar

Rochester, N.Y. – In the last six months, more than 1,800 people applied for a pistol permit in Monroe County.

That number is nearly 70 percent higher than the average for the same six months over the last six years.

It’s an increase that Demario Brantley, a lecturer of sociology at Monroe Community College, is not surprised to see.

“What’s happening if we look at the data we can identify a few populations – women, minorities – and then we also see the elderly as well as a part of the concealed carry permit increase,” said Brantley. “People are starting to warm up to the idea of having a gun.”

Brantley explains that trends in American society, like violent movies, music, and television shows, all impact how people react and change.

“We see the media as an agent of socialization which means they kind of help us to understand ourselves and our position, understand the culture and the kind of the nation that we live in,” said Brantley.

The upcoming election is also playing a role in in the climbing numbers, and both sides – including Democrats – are causing those numbers to tick up.

“It is having an opposite impact,” said Brantley. “Democrats generally have the ideology that we need to focus on gun control and having stricter laws, but we are seeing is that the idea of having stricter laws isn’t necessarily resonating with the reality that some residents are having in the community.”

Stephen Aldatadt, President of the 2nd Amendment Defense Organization SCOPE, believes people are concerned their rights are being, or will be, infringed on.

“Every time we see something, every time a president comes out about adding more restrictions, we see the sales of fire arms go up again,” said Aldstadt. “People feel threatened they feel like they have to do it now or they won’t be able to.”

“What we do see is an increase in people feeling we should protect those rights instead of gun control,” said Brantley. “This is the first time we’ve ever seen that in research, where people feel we need to focus more on protecting those right verses gun control all together.”

Women are also impacting these numbers. More women than ever are deciding now is the time to become gun owners.

“I think a lot more women are getting into shooting sports now which drives a lot of it,” said Alstadt.

According to Brantley, women now make up 25 percent of new permit holders. Although men are still more likely to have a concealed carry permit.

Brantley believes safety has a lot to do with their choice to own a gun.

“More people are probably identifying for a need for guns and their attitudes towards guns are also changing,” said Brantley.

Pew Research found the attitude of gun owners in general has shifted.

In the late 1990s, more people said they owned a gun for hunting, now more people say they own a gun for protection.

“We’re seeing a shift in cultural trends,” said Brantley.

This article was originally published at 13 ABC.