More applying to conceal and carry
In the first two months of 2013, concealed carry applications have more than tripled from the same time period in 2012.
"In January and February of , we had 45 applications for concealed carry permits," said Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly. "This year, so far, we've had 161."
Epperly said he thinks there are a number of circumstances that had contributed to the significant increase.
"There have been all of those school shootings and people want to be able to protect themselves in their own homes," Epperly said. "I also think part of the increase is due to President Barack Obama's stance on the Second Amendment. He is the reason that people are spurred to action.
"I don't know what his intention is," Epperly continued, "but I have had people ask me if I plan to go home to home to confiscate their weapons, and I said I will not.
"I believe in the Second Amendment and people's Constitutional right to bear arms," Epperly said. "The Second Amendment doesn't need interference. That's the way it's been for all of these years and there is no need to change it now."
Epperly said he has a list of instructors able to teach concealed carry classes to those interested in getting their permits.
"Generally, there are 25 to 30 people in each class," he said. "I don't choose who the instructor is, the person requesting the permit chooses their instructor. Generally, classes are held on Saturdays, and we're hit with application requests on the following Monday. My staff is keeping pretty busy with all of the paperwork involved."
Part of that includes fingerprinting and a background check. Those wanting to obtain a concealed carry permit must not have a felony conviction or more than two misdemeanor convictions. Processing fees are $100. Class tuition runs between $60 and $100. After three years, the permit is renewable at a cost of $50.
For more information on the concealed carry permit application or process, call the Barry County Sheriff's Office at 417-847-6556.