Concealed gun permit applications surge in Mecklenburg County, prompting delays

Updated: Nov. 5, 2020 at 7:57 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Since the start of the pandemic there has been a rise in handgun permits in Mecklenburg County, prompting delays in processing time.

In west Charlotte, Hyatt Gun Shop just had a record-breaking weekend leading up to Election Day.

“Last Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday and then Monday and Tuesday...together were the four busiest days in our business history of 61 years," said Larry Hyatt.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office says on Oct. 26, the office registered the highest number of outstanding applications ever with 13,005.

Gun owners believe the election, COVID-19 pandemic and threat for more protests are leading to the sales.

“It seems like some may be in fear for our rights, constitutional rights being violated or taken away from us. With this election and how things turned out so far, there will probably be more," said James Thompkins.

“It’s really a problem that has been going on that has been overlooked and people are taking the proper precautions to protect themselves. No one know what the outcome is going to be, things have been real crazy now geographically and socially, racially," added Antoine Price.

From July through October there was been a 125-percent increase in monthly average of applicants compared to the same period last year, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Staff is working overtime hours to process the applications.

“We still have an election in dispute, a lot of worry...are our institutions going to function properly?," added Hyatt. “Easy transition or more riots? Virus coming back with a vengeance? A lot of worry for the American people and self-protection is a big part of their decisions."

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