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Stamford PD: Gun Buys, Pistol Permits Up 4X the Norm

Capt. Richard Conklin called the uptick in gun sales a "tremendous" rise.

 

Don't be surprise if you start seeing more guns in public. Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin , who handles gun carrying permit applications for the department, said there had been a recent uptick in gun purchases and permit applications.

"I do think the number of not only gun purchases, but of permit applications as well, are up tremendously," Conklin said. "That includes handguns and long guns."

"Long guns" include weapons like rifles and shotguns.

Conklin said he believed a number or factors contributed to the rush seen and said it's actually a movement that's been building momentum to the current torrent.

"I think there's been a bit of nervousness that gun laws are suddenly going to become stricter, and people are hoping they can make their purchases and get their permits now in an attempt to get grandfathered into any new laws that might pass," Conklin said."That mentality started pre-Obama."

"I also think lots of people are looking at the economy," he added. "I've seen people making purchases with the mindset that, if things get worse, they're going to have to defend their property from increased burglaries and break-ins."

Conklin said he didn't immediately have exact numbers for how many purchases and applications had been processed, but he estimated both were approximately four times the average historically seen over the same period in previous years.

"We see the purchase receipts of Stamford residents buying guns outside of the city, even," Conklin said. "It's high everywhere."

Conklin said unlike New York, which has a number of different types of permits available—like one for concealed carrying, one strictly for transporting to the range, and so on—Connecitcut only has a single, all-inclusive tier for pistol permits.

He clarified, however, that the application process for a pistol permit is lengthy and intensive, and the followup is even more so.

"[Applicants] are subjected to a mandatory safety course, a motor vehicle history check and criminal history check are conducted for signs of lack of maturity, mental health checks are conducted and that's just for the initial process," Conklin said.

According to the captain, the most important impact a gun has is not in the purchase, but in the wake of its lifetime. Once a gun is in the hands of a person, it is involved in their life indefinitely.

"We are constantly conducting custodial reviews of gun owners," he said. "If there's ever a domestic issue, owners run the risk that we will revoke their permits."

Conklin pointed to a number of recent incidents where legitimately-owned guns had an impact on the situation as reasons for why police must always be aware of the location of a gun, even after someone has passed the permit application process.

"Three weeks ago we had a home invasion where weapons were being carried and one of the suspects had a valid pistol permit," Conklin said. "We had a young man with a permit who died after accidentally shooting himself in the head. We had a guy being beaten by a group who pulled a gun and shot several suspects. All of these incidents occur or are influenced by the presence of guns."

Conklin said police would remain vigilant as pistols permeate the city.

"We're issuing more permits," Conklin said. "Academically, we can anticipate more followups on various issues pertaining to them."

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