Local News

Wake County demand for gun permits triples in 2020

The Wake County Sheriff's office has processed more than 12,000 gun permit applications in the first five months of 2020, triple the number submitted in 2019.

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Mandy Mitchell
, WRAL Reporter
FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. — Izel Kelly is a longtime gun owner and a frequent customer of Fuquay Gun and Gold. He says he’s definitely noticed a change when he comes into the store.

"A lot more people are coming to buy guns, asking questions," Kelly said.

Many of the customers are first-time gun owners who want better protection, given the events of 2020.

"We’ve got a huge uptick in new customers that are coming in and basically just throwing their hands in the air, and saying ‘I just need something to defend my home or to defend my business,’" said Clay Ausley, owner of Fuquay Gun and Gold.

It’s a trend across the county. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office processed 4,654 gun permit applications between January 1st and June 3rd of 2019.

The office processed more than 12,000 applications during the same timeframe this year.

"That’s unprecedented," said Lt. Scott Sefton of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. "In the short amount of time since this has been going on, we have issued out more permits in a shorter amount of time than in the history of the sheriff’s office."

There are so many applications that the office is behind in processing them

This weekend’s riots have led to an even greater spike in the interest in owning a gun, but that is just adding to an already active year.

"This spike that we are seeing now during the coronavirus and now with the rioting and looting and what not – this has created the busiest year we have ever seen in the industry, and most of my vendors are saying the same thing," Ausley said.

And he doesn’t expect the sales to decrease anytime soon.


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