More people getting concealed pistol licenses
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.-- As gun rights remain a hot topic, thousands of people here in Yakima County continue to buy guns, and get permits to carry.
Yakima County has a higher percentage of people with those licenses than the state average. The increase in concealed pistol licenses follows an increase in gun crime in Yakima County.
Dianne Mabry owns Bestway Pawn shop in Yakima. She's been in the gun business for more than 20 years and has heard all kinds of reasons people buy them.
"Hunting, target practice, just wanting to add to the collection," Mabry said.
She is seeing more people buy guns than years past.
"You don't have to have a concealed license in the state of Washington to buy a gun," she said.
But, Dianne is also seeing more people get licenses to carry. KIMA pulled the numbers and found her perception is accurate. In the past year, about 2,800 people in Yakima County got concealed pistol licenses; up from the 1,900 the year before.
That now makes more than 18,000 in the county, or about 7.5 percent of the local population. It's higher than the statewide average of 6.4 percent.
"The last year, probably the beginning of the first part of the year, when they had the Sandy Hook shooting, we saw a huge increase," Mabry said.
Dianne tells me a lot of people who carry them legally say they do it for their protection. KIMA pulled the numbers of gun violence and they show why there's such an increase.
In Yakima County in the last year, YSO responded to 175 shots fired calls. That's almost a hundred more than the year before. There were two more robberies with firearms last year compared to the year before.
More shootings, and more people carrying guns in their everyday life. To learn more about concealed pistol licenses in Yakima County, click here.