CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ever since the deadly shooting in Parkland Florida, there has been an outcry for legislation to tighten gun laws. However, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and supporters of the Second Amendment are pushing back creating a deep divide on the issue of gun control across the country.
In the Charlotte area, NBC Charlotte uncovered data showing a spike in people rushing to get a concealed handgun permits. Apparently, the month of February was busy for those applying to carry concealed handguns across the Charlotte-metro area.
To get a clear snapshot of what is happening and how many applications were processed, NBC Charlotte requested the data from February 14 through February 22, a one week period immediately after the shootings in South Florida.
“The most recent spike has been attributed to the tragic shooting in Parkland,” said Union County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Tony Underwood.
In Lincoln County, the number of concealed handgun applications went from 66 in 2017 to 106 this year. That’s a 61% increase. In Gaston County handgun, permits last February were 131, the same period this year was 173. That’s a 32% jump. In Union County, the number went from 52 to 74 concealed carry applications applied for. That’s a 42% increase year over year.
In Mecklenburg there was a slight increase in people seeking to buy guns. Overall, purchase permits received went from 532 last year to 550 this year, up three percent.
So what's the true reason for the rise? Are people concerned about their safety or the guns being taken away as some lawmakers push for stricter gun laws? Experts say it could be a combination of both.
“Whether it's a political narrative that someone believes somebody's going to infringe on their Second Amendment rights, that sort of thing, can cause an increase suddenly and purchase permits but a number of factors could contribute to that,” according to Underwood.