CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- One of the busiest places in uptown Charlotte has been the gun permit office in the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office.
In the last few weeks, especially after the Sandy Hook school shootings, the office where residents apply for permits to purchase and carry concealed weapons has seen the number of applicants explode--from about 80 a day to around 200 a day now.
"It's up 4,000 this year, which is probably six or seven thousand of what it was two years ago," said Sheriff Chip Bailey. "We've had a tremendous increase. I think we are going to continue to see the increase until people understand what the federal government is going to do with regard to the gun laws."
Right now the office is having its staff of 10 employees work overtime to handle the applications process, from making background checks to checking area mental hospitals on people wanting to obtain concealed carry permits.
"We've had to use deputy sheriffs. We've had to use other people who were already certified in D.C.I. (Division of Criminal Information) and it's costing us in overtime money and probably will for the next month or two," added Bailey
If this trend continues, then the sheriff's office would have to consider hiring more staff to handle the overflow of applicants.
"It does cost a lot of money, and if this is going to be a continual thing then we're going to have to go to the county commissioner and say we're going to have to have additional staff on a full time basis," Sheriff Bailey said.
Sheriff Bailey said that he could need as many as two additional staff members, which would cost the county an additional $64,000 extra a year in salaries, training, certifications and other benefits.