|October 26, 2001, 09:46 AM||#1|
Join Date: October 26, 2000
Location: Moscow on the Colorado, TX
(TN) Requests for state handgun permits soar after attacks
Requests for state handgun permits soar after attacks
By wire report
NASHVILLE - More Tennesseans are applying for permits to carry handguns and purchasing them following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to the Department of Safety.
In the 30 days after the attacks, applications for permits increased 48.5 percent from the previous month, department spokeswoman Dana Keeton said. Permit applications averaged about 1,260 per month through June, July and August, The Tennessean reported, but 1,845 requests poured in after the strikes on New York and Washington.
Applicants must be at least 21, be a state resident and not have a criminal record. They also must submit to fingerprinting and attend an approved safety course on handguns within six months of applying for the permit. A permit costs $115 and must be renewed every four years at a cost of $50.
Nashvillian Paul Harris said he doesn't believe carrying a gun will necessarily save him from terrorists but it will make him feel better.
"I wasn't going to do it, but when that happened, I said, 'I'm going to do it just to be on the safe side,' " Harris said.
The week after the attack, gun dealers reported a rise in firearm sales, with some as much as 40 percent above average.
Firearm opponents, such as Handgun Control, argue the nation needs fewer guns in the wake of the attacks because foreign terrorists could buy weapons at gun shows and then use them to shoot at American soldiers.
But regardless of more guns or fewer of them, victims' rights activists say they're not the answer, and that many Americans are simply afraid.
"I understand the sense of it," said Earl Jordan, who heads antiviolence organizations Partners in the Struggle and Yes MAM (Mothers Against Murders). "It's just a fear of what had happened and everybody witnessing the situation on TV and viewing it and thinking, 'Wow, that is so terrifying, and I guess the next best thing for me to do is arm myself.' "
Jordan said neither an armed population nor a debate on guns addresses the real issue at hand, and that's terrorism.
"We need to get together as a nation and unite against what has transpired," he said.
October 24, 2001
"That a free citizen should have to go before a committee, hat in hand, and pray for permission to bear arms - fantastic! Arm your daughter, sir, and pay no attention to petty bureaucrats." Robert Heinlein - Red Planet