Gun permit applications way up in Austin, Mower

Published 10:27 am Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Austin Police Department and Mower County Sheriff’s office are still seeing an influx of applications to both purchase and carry firearms.

In the past three weeks — from Dec. 21 to Jan. 14 — 106 permits had been processed within the county. Forty-five of those purchase permits were within the city of Austin, and 47 purchase permits were from around the county. Fourteen of the 106 permits were to conceal and carry handguns.

From Jan. 12, 2012, to Jan. 14, 2013, 834 permit applications were processed within the county. Of those, 336 were permits to purchase in Austin, and 276 were permits to purchase in the county. The remaining 222 were permits to conceal and carry, which are always processed by the sheriff’s office.

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“That has gone up dramatically in the last few weeks since that school shooting in Connecticut,” said Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger.

Krueger added his officers have discussed how some police and sheriff’s units across the country will soon run low on ammunition, as civilians are buying that in bulk, too. Some say ammunition production is 8 to 10 months behind the demand.

However, Krueger said his department, along with the Mower County Sheriff’s, still has enough ammunition and has already placed orders for 2014. Local officers shoot quarterly to retain their range certifications, Krueger added.

Krueger isn’t panicking about those now purchasing guns, however.

“I still believe that the guns and ammo are out there now, and if someone really wants to get ahold of a weapon from a family member or friend, that’s something that’s still going to happen,” he said.