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Gun permits increase in Greenwood

GREENWOOD (WISH) – Some local police departments say they’re seeing jumps in the number of people asking for gun permits.

Specifically in Greenwood, officials say they’re seeing more women looking to get a handgun license.

In just the first two weeks of January, officials say they saw a big increase compared to the past two years.

Greenwood Police Chief John Laut tells 24-Hour News 8 that in 2014, the city had 780 total permits processed, of those 28 percent were women.

In 2015, they had 998 total permits: of those, 30 percent were women.

Through Jan. 12, they’ve had 95 total permits: 33 percent of those are for women.

The numbers through just the first twelve days of January exemplify the uptick they’re seeing. The chief said through Jan. 12 2014, they processed 34 gun permits. Through Jan. 12 2015, it was 37 permits. Through Jan. 12 of 2016, there were 95 already.

There’s been no shortage of discussion on gun laws and requirements here in Indiana and across the nation recently. Lawmakers at the statehouse are talking right now about gun permits and licensing, and the President outlined an executive order on gun control earlier this month.

We asked Greenwood police officials why they think the increase is occurring.

“I think the terrorism that’s occurring, and just generally the violent crimes that are occurring, not only here but across the country,” said Officer Kortney Burrello with the Greenwood Police Department. “My friends and family say they want to protect themselves.”

Burrello says they haven’t had an increase in violent crime in Greenwood.

According to the Indiana State Police website, 2015 numbers show Johnson County had 2,634 permits approved. Of those 1775 were men and 859 were women.

An Indiana State Police spokesperson tells 24-Hour News 8 their firearms section has full-time personnel working some overtime due to the increase in applications across the state.

Typically, he says, turnaround time is less than 10 days. With the influx of applications, they say turnaround is still less than 30 days.

Greenwood also just had a new indoor shooting range move to town last year.

Officers say one thing is certain: if you own a gun, you need to know how to use it.

“They need to get to the range, take safety classes, to get out there and protect themselves. Be very familiar with the weapon they’re carrying, and don’t be afraid to use it,” added Burrello.