It’s well known that Texas is a gun-friendly state. In recent months, the state has enacted open carry and campus carry laws in addition to their already existing laws allowing concealed carry with a permit, and it’s clear that’s what residents want.
This story from the Dallas News says requests for licenses to carry in the Lone Star state have more than doubled in a recent three-month period, forcing the Texas Department of Public Safety to hire more people and move resources around to accommodate the increase. The DPS has also informed gun owners how to avoid potential delays, the story says.
The DPS has received 136,000 requests for licenses in December, January, and February. That’s about a 140 percent increase over the 57,000 applications submitted during the same time the year before, according to the story.
It’s a trend that’s been growing for a decade. Ten years ago there were just under 260,000 Texans with concealed-carry licenses, which is now known as a license to carry a handgun, since it can be concealed or not. By the end of last month, there were more than 966,000 active license holders in Texas.
“Nearly triple—that’s pretty significant,” said former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the story. When he was a state senator, Patterson wrote the original concealed carry bill that was passed in 1995.
Some residents were concerned about the potential impact of people being allowed to openly carry in public places and, because of a law passed last year, on Texas college campuses, but there hasn’t been any discernible fallout so far.
“There aren’t that many people open carrying anyway,” said Andrea Brauer, executive director of Texas Gun Sense.
The story says some attribute the spike to national security concerns along with President Obama’s recent actions regarding gun control, but also the GOP presidential race’s heated rhetoric about terrorism and fear.
For now, all applicants can do is double check and make sure their applications are correct and complete so they can me moved along as fast as possible.