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January 31, 2020

Concealed handgun permit applications up 113 percent

Photo/Don Del Rosso
Talk of stricter state gun-control laws generally have helped boost sales at his family’s shop, Steve Clark says.
Handguns are up, long guns are up. I really feel like there’s a renewed interest in guns.
— Clark Brothers Gun Shop owner Steve Clark
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier residents this month have applied for concealed handgun permits at a furious pace.

As of Thursday, the Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office had received 330 applications — more than double the number it did for the same month in 2019.

Last January, the office received 155 concealed carry applications, Chief Deputy Clerk Helen Zaleski said.

That represents about a 113-percent increase over January 2019’s total.

Last year, the clerk’s office received 1,314 concealed carry permit applications. During the previous five years, it received 6,851.

“Almost all of them get issued,” Ms. Zaleski said. “Some get denied.”

The clerk’s office “can approve the permits that have no problems, such as misdemeanor offenses,” according to the chief deputy clerk. “The (circuit court) judge reviews the balance of the applications for approval or denial.”

Typically, applications for concealed carry permits “spike when different events happen,” said Ms. Zaleski, noting that requests soared in December 2015 — the month of the San Bernadino, Calif. mass shooting that left 14 dead and 21 injured.

That December, the clerk’s office issued 227 concealed carry applications, making it the year’s busiest month for processing them.

The statewide debate over Second Amendment rights and the 2020 Virginia General Assembly’s deliberations on proposed bills to tighten gun-control laws might partly account for January’s jump in concealed carry applications, Ms. Zalinski suggested.

Steve Clark, owner of Clark Brothers Gun Shop at Opal, has no doubt about that theory.

“I know that most of it is explained by (Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat) wanting to do all of his disgusting gun-control laws,” said Mr. Clark, whose family 60 years ago opened the popular gun store along Routes 17/17/29. “People are feeling that will help them in a grandfathered-in clause — if they’ve already got their concealed carry permits — because the first thing (the Virginia General Assembly) will do is stop concealed carry permits.”

He added: “It’s easier to renew them than it is to get new ones. That’s the thought process there. We don’t know if that’s going to be true or not.”

Democrats on Nov. 5 won majorities in both the 100-member Virginia House of Delegates and 40-member state Senate. Not since 1993 had the party controlled the state legislature.

The 2020 General Assembly convened on Jan. 8. Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Northam made it clear they would push for major gun-control reforms during the session.

In response, more than 100 counties, cities and towns — including Fauquier — have approved resolutions firmly expressing their support for the Second Amendment.

On Dec. 23, the board of supervisors unanimously designated Fauquier a “constitutional county.”

Talk of stricter state gun-control laws generally have helped boost sales, Mr. Clark said.

“Handguns are up, long guns are up,” he said. “I really feel like there’s a renewed interest in guns. I’m selling more of competitive shooting guns, the expensive competitive shotguns — things that aren’t going to be affected by these proposed laws.

“There’s just a renewed interest that’s been waning for the last couple of years, because under Trump nobody was worried about their guns getting away.”

Under the state code, “the local law-enforcement agency conducting the background investigation may charge a fee not to exceed $35 to cover the cost of conducting an investigation.”

Sheriff Bob Mosier last year decided to eliminate that fee.

Virginia law also allows clerks’ offices and the state police to charge up to $10 and $5, respectively, to process each concealed carry permit applications.

Effective Jan. 1, the clerk’s office charges a $15 rather than $50 per application processing fee. Permits expire after five years.

The clerk’s office and the state police get $10 and $5, respectively, for each processed application.

The reduced application probably has had little effect on the number of permit applications issued in January, Ms. Zaleski said.

“Not a lot of people know about” the fee change, she said. “We were still getting checks for $50 in the mail, and we had to send them checks for the corrected fee.”

Mr. Clark believes the clerk’s office would have issued 330 applications in January, even at the previous application fee of $50.

But shaving $35 off the application means real additional purchasing power at his shop.

“Thirty-five dollars is $35,” Mr. Clark said. “That’ll get you two boxes of ammo.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.
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Jerome Fields · February 8, 2020 at 3:10 pm
Ya'all need to chill on the threats and hate.

Truepat - are you defending the Constitution right now, or do you think that everything that is happening is OK because it's your side that is doing the destruction?
Truepat · February 3, 2020 at 6:29 am
Luckily for Cammie, those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution will not discriminate when the need arises to protect our fellow Americans and patriots....
DonkeyFarmer · February 2, 2020 at 11:22 pm
Cammie you made the same typo 3 times? You are a liar. You have been discredited. Just go away.
No to northam · February 2, 2020 at 11:52 am
Pissy little c*** are you not cammie ...

Another liberal loonie that needs her head checked becuase she gets triggered when things dont go her way ...

What a fruit cake ..
Cammie Rodgers · February 2, 2020 at 9:09 am
DF - LOLOLOLOLOLOL, pot calling the kettle black. It was a typo, obsess much? FU you Dumb F!!!.
DonkeyFarmer · February 1, 2020 at 5:42 pm
Hey look Cammie the FRAUD is back. Hey Cammie maybe you can train the Toms Dicks and Janes on using your fantasy AK57? Lie after lie from Cammie. I know you are lying because you have never been invited to a party because you smell like cats.
Cammie Rodgers · February 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Great! Let every Tom, Dick, or Jane carry around a gun. Not trained in how to handle emergency events but because "I can", doesn't mean you should.

A neighbor lady that had too much to drink at a local party said she carries her 9mm into Target "just in case". Hells fire that is NOT someone I want shopping around me.
JDwarrenton · February 1, 2020 at 7:07 am
6,851 CCPs issued in just the past 5 years. That's roughly 10% of the entire county population.

And good to know. Let every deranged perp who might want to stage an attack in the local Walmart or church, know that he could face an overwhelming response from law abiding citizens exercising their Constitutional right to self defense - like the 5 church goers that drew their weapon in the latest Texas church shooting by the deranged guy dressed in disguise and wearing a wig.
No to northam · January 31, 2020 at 5:47 pm
One of the best $50 , now $15 anyone could spend.
Glad to see the county making is even more affordable so everyone has a chance to protect themselves legally.

Constitutional carry is only one step away next election cycle.
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