AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – Across the state, more and more Coloradans are applying for and receiving concealed carry permits, with 41,660 new permits issued in 2021.
That represents a 10% increase from 2020, when just under 38,000 new permits were issued.
Yet certain counties are seeing bigger spikes than others. In Arapahoe County, for example, more than 4,000 new permits were issued in 2021.
“We saw almost a doubling in our number of concealed handgun permits issued,” Sheriff Tyler Brown said.
Brown explained that it’s tough to identify one specific reason for the increase. He said most of those applications came from people living within the city of Aurora.
“It’s hard to speculate exactly what the reasons are,” he said. “Political tides shift frequently, as well as different incidents that occur in communities across this country.”
Still, other counties haven’t seen the same level of interest in obtaining concealed carry permits.
Denver, Jefferson, Weld and Douglas Counties all saw fewer new permit applications in 2021 than in 2020.
At Bristlecone Shooting in Lakewood, staff said they’ve seen an increase in people signing up for training over the past few years.
“We have a lot of people that are brand new, they haven’t purchased their gun yet, so they’re getting a lot of training prior to even getting that first purchase,” Cindy Coker said.
Coker held a beginner concealed carry class for a group of five people Thursday, going over proper technique from start to finish.
“I’m here to practice shooting. I’ve never shot a handgun before,” Ray Suehrstedt said.
Suehrstedt and his son Steve both signed up for the class, saying they recently purchased guns for self-defense reasons.
Coker said proper training is critical to ensure safety.