Increasing Number of Gun Permits Spurs Business Expansion

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New numbers show the number of concealed carry permits nearly doubled over the previous year in the Hoosier State. The increasing number of people applying for gun permits is having a trickle-down effect on businesses that sell firearms and people who provide firearms training.

According to numbers provided by Indiana State Police, there were more than 14,000 gun permit applications filed last year. In Warrick County, there were nearly 7,000 applications filed. In Gibson County, there were nearly 4,300 applications filed. In total, there were more than 46,000 applications filed in southwestern Indiana.

“We couldn’t keep anything on the shelf,” said Jacob Stotlar, co-owner of Right to Bear Arms in Haubstadt. “It didn’t matter really what it was. It was nice to see new people get involved in shooting and express an interest in firearms.”

As a co-owner of a burgeoning business, Stotlar said plans to expand the business are already in the works. Right to Bear Arms will expand the size of it’s store as well as add an indoor firing range.

He’s not the only one who has noticed a windfall.

“We’ve actually increased the amount of basic training [seminars] we’ve had this year,” said Matt Tenbarge, co-owner of Hard Target Firearms Training. “Last year, we ran into the problem of offering so many basic seminars a year. We had to increase that this year. We actually host one every month now.”

Tenbarge estimated his business has seen a 20% increase over the last year and expects that number to double in 2014. Tenbarge said more and more women are buying firearms and applying for permits.

The number of applications for gun permits has nearly doubled over the last year in Indiana as well. It’s caused a flurry of new business for people who sell guns or provide training on how to use them. Tenbarge and Stotlar both cite the recent discussions about gun control as well as the public’s increased desire to protect themselves as possible reasons behind the recent influx.

“People aren’t paranoid. It’s just part of human instinct to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Tenbarge said. “I don’t go anywhere without a gun. The reason why is I’m going to protect myself my loved ones or someone else. That’s what it comes down to. People are really starting to see that.”

“It’s kind of like when your parents tell you that you can’t do something, that’s what you’re going to do,” Stotlar said. “A lot of people who have never owned a gun or cared to have a permit went out and got a permit.”

The reasons for buying firearms are as numerous as the different types of firearms themselves. The responsibilty remains the same, Tenbarge and Stotlar said.

“I can’t just put a gun on my side and ‘John Wayne’ this,” Tenbarge said. “You can’t do that, especially in this day and age.”

“It’s not the wild west where you can walk around and do whatever you want so it’s a huge responsibility for us to suggest that they get training,” Stotlar said. “It’s a huge responsibility for the gun owner that you reach out and get training as well.”

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