Law enforcement sees record number of pistol permit applications across the Tennessee Valley

In the last month, sheriff's offices are seeing more people apply for pistol permits.

Law enforcement sees record number of pistol permit applications across the Tennessee Valley

NORTH ALABAMA, Ala. (WAFF) - The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is processing pistol permit applications at a record pace.

”We’ve processed about 1,000 permits in the first 10-11 days. That’s more than we see in a month,” Morgan County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Mike Swafford said.

The same goes for Limestone and Madison counties.

”In the last week and a half or so, we’ve seen a drastic increase in the number of people applying for pistol permits. And that continues today,” deputy Stephen Young said.

Young with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office says his office has processed more than 1,000 applications since the start of the month. That’s nearly double the amount from the same time last year.

In Madison County, this month, more than 1,500 people have applied for pistol permits. There’s also more than 1,500 accepted permits waiting to be picked up at the sheriff’s office.

”Now, that’s not sustainable and it won’t continue like that. It just shows people are paying attention, and are concerned about their safety,” Swafford explained.

An increased amount of permits means more funding for our local sheriff’s offices.

“We use that to supplement the cost of law enforcement, whether it’s equipment, training, supplies, that’s what those funds are used for,” Swafford said.

Young says this will be helpful in Limestone County as the office prepares for potential budget cuts in October.

”Since the start of coronavirus and the shutdowns, you have a loss of tax revenue. It’s been a long time now that businesses are not at full capacity. Many businesses are shutting down. You have an expectation that there’s going to be a reduction in the amount of tax money coming in,” Young said.

Both Young and Swafford say they don’t expect the permit surge to continue.

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