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Gun permit applications surge in Wise County

The burgeoning demand for concealed weapon permits shows no sign of cooling off, at least in Southwest Virginia.

Wise County court officials have received more applications for pistol permits in the first six months of 2013 than permits issued for all of 2012, a “historic record-setting increase,” according to clerk Jack Kennedy.

Over 700 people have paid the $50 filing fee for a CWP so far this year, Kennedy reported in his blog.

Figures from the Supreme Court of Virginia suggest Wise County is no fluke. Statewide applications for CWPs in the first three months of the year more than doubled the number from the same period last year, according to the court’s caseload figures.

The trend was apparent from urban and suburban communities to rural locales.

The application fee is split between state and local law enforcement agencies conducting the required criminal background checks, Kennedy said.

A new state law effective July 1 will bar circuit court clerks from disclosing who has concealed handgun permits except to law enforcement officials.

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