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More People Applying for Concealed Carry Permits in Greene - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

More People Applying for Concealed Carry Permits in Greene

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GREENE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -

There's an increase in people applying for concealed handgun permits in Greene County. The county's circuit court issued double the amount of permits in 2013 as it did in 2012.

Sheriff Steve Smith says the increase is a good thing. It’s in part because the Sheriff's Office is helping people get the permits through a free firearm safety course.

In 2012 the county circuit court issued 330 permits, and in 2013 that number spiked up to 660. The Sheriff's Office gave about 60 free firearms classes to more than 1,000 people living in the county during 2012. Smith says statistics show such courses reduce firearm accidents.

The reason for permit applications varies from person to person; Smith says some take the course for personal protection while others do it simply for recreation.

"We go over laws, self-defense laws, conceal carry laws, the permit process, safe handling techniques, even proper selection, legal transport, what states they can legally enter into with no questions asked once they have that permit,” said Steve Keene, a Greene County sheriff’s deputy.

Sheriff Smith promised to offer the free classes when he was campaigning. He says it's important to give people the tools they need to protect themselves.

The next class is already booked but there's one on February 19 that still has open spots.

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