Tumminia Conceal and Carry Permits

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BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday it has issued more conceal and carry permits in the county each year from 2007 to 2011. In 2007, 490 people obtained or renewed permits. Through November of 2011, the number of permits issues was 1,221.

Crime numbers may be behind the increase, as heavy crime months correspond with heavy permit request months. August 2011 had the highest number of new permits issued last year. In that same month, Boone County recorded the highest number of total crimes at 728. This includes negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, violent crimes and property crimes. The next closest month was October at 621 reports. That month saw 48 permit requests--the next highest number for the year.

Dan Trim, owner of Tiger Pawn, said he has also noticed an increase in firearms.

"We have seen a huge increase in the number of people coming in and looking for handguns that are ideal for concealing," Trim said.

Major Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff's Department told KOMU 8 the numbers have continued to increase in permit sales and he doesn't know when it will slow down.

"There's probably going to come a point in time where the renewals are going outnumber the new applications," Major Redding said. "But we haven't been there yet."

Detective Tom O'Sullivan said it is hard to point to one specific thing as the cause of permit totals to be high. He thinks it is more about Columbia's growing repuation for crime, not just isolated incidents.