Gun Permit Applications Rising In Tennessee - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Gun Permit Applications Rising In Tennessee

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by Marcus Washington

GREENBRIER, Tenn. - A record number of people could soon be packing heat in the Volunteer State. In just the last six months, more than 86,000 Tennesseans have applied for a handgun carry permit.

When it comes to hand gun permit applications in Tennessee, 86,334 people have been through the same class as Tom Shepard. He recently retired from the army and applied for the permit to protect his family.

"Regardless of what you think you know, there is always something else you can learn. There are always different sides of it, different techniques you can pick-up, use, not use - whatever the case might be," said Shepard.

Compared to the first six months of 2012, applications for hand gun carry permits have increased more than 113 percent this year.

Emily Johnson said recent national events have pushed her to take her gun responsibilities to another level. She was in class at the Guns and Leather Shooting Academy in Robertson County. 

"I'm an educator, and if teachers are allowed, at some point, to carry guns in the classroom, I might want to be a part of that," she said.

Officials said there was no single reason for the spike in applicants, but many of the students said taking the class forces them to hold themselves to a higher standard.

"I encourage people if any way at all, not to use your weapon. That is the avenue you want to pursue," said Warren Smith, a hand gun permit instructor at Guns and Leather.

He said he has noticed the increase, particularly with women, but said the classes truly benefit anyone who owns a gun.

"It's important to know what the current laws are and understand those laws, not just what you might read in the media," said Smith.

After taking the handgun carry permit class, Smith suggested students take even more classes. He said if they find themselves in situations where they might have to use the gun, there may likely be only seconds to make potentially life and death decisions.

Email: mwashington@newschannel5.com 

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