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Concealed Carry Permits

I worked on a story for the Monday paper, where I took a look at the number of concealed carry permits that were issued by the Kanawha County Sheriff since 2009. Rarely are permits rejected, only a little more than 2 percent of all permits since 2009 were turned down, and it’s even rarer for a permit to be revoked.

The thing that jumped out at me the most though, was the huge surge in concealed carry permit applications in 2013. I racked my head to figure out what big mass shooting had happened that year and the first one that came to my mind was Sandy Hook.

The Sandy Hook Massacre took place in December 2012, just a month before Obama gave his 2013 State of the Union address. President Barack Obama used that State of the Union address to call for stricter gun control laws, a call that became his platform until he issued his executive orders on the issue later that year.

That legislative crusade led to people being afraid that Obama was going to take their guns, which led to an increase in sales and permit applications.

In a cursory Google Trends search, I tried to figure out when people started worrying about whether or not Obama would take their guns. It turns out, the talk started in July 2012. According to, a fact checking site operated by the Tampa Bay Times, the NRA sent out a campaign mailer about why “Obama is coming for our guns” in June of 2012. Talk reached its peak in January 2013, according to the Google Search trends. That’s when Obama unveiled his legislative proposals for gun control to congress.

So here’s an interactive I made to help explore these issues in a visual way. Keep an eye out for the story this Monday.