Monongalia County Reports Increase of Concealed Weapon Permit Ap - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Monongalia County Reports Increase of Concealed Weapon Permit Applications

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MORGANTOWN -

Getting a concealed weapon permit in Monongalia County is pretty straightforward.

The first step is having a valid West Virginia driver's license with a Monongalia County address. Next, applicants complete an eight-hour safety course. Finally, they go to the Sheriff's Department and properly fill out the permit application, pay the $75 application fee, and wait for a background check to be completed.

The Monongalia County Sheriff's Department said it has seen a jump in concealed weapon permit applications. There are many different reasons for this.

Clarence Talbert is one of many Monongalia County residents applying for a concealed weapon permit.

"I've owned a gun most of my adult life, but the things that go on everyday, you see in the news, and you see around you," said Talbert. "They just make you worry, make you wonder, 'maybe I should do a little more, maybe I should have that permit, maybe I should carry it more often.'"

The rush of people has left at least 100 back ground checks waiting for approval from Dana Hawkins of the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department.

"They're just coming in," said Hawkins. "People will sit out there for an hour, at least. Get their number and hang out there until their turn comes."

Hawkins said people can come Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10:00 a.m. and noon and 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. every day. In one day, she has had up to 30 people come in to apply. She said she hears plenty of different reasons for permit purchases.

"When President Obama was first appointed, I had a big rush of permits, and then it kind of slowed down a little bit, or I was keeping them under control," said Hawkins. "And now the new election, and I'm hearing the same thing again."

If there are drastic changes in gun control laws, some people think they will be grandfathered into the concealed weapon permit.

Talbert said that he might not even carry his gun with him that often but he still wants to have the option. He has different reasoning for getting the concealed weapon permit.

"It didn't seem like something that I had to have or needed to have, but with the state of the country these days, and the things that are going on with the students that were just shot and some of the stuff," said Talbert. "It can't hurt to have it. I don't need it for any other reason but that... just protection."

Because of the recent rush of people wanting concealed weapon permits, the sheriff's department said that it will soon move to appointment-only application processes.