Gun sales and concealed-carry permit applications have spiked throughout Washington following the tragic Sept. 23 shooting that left five dead at the Cascade Mall in Burlington.
“It’s a common reaction to a mass shooting.” Anacortes Police Chief Bonnie Bowers said in a statement.
In the days following the shooting, Chief Bowers department handled about eight times the concealed-carry permit applications than normal. She said many applicants were applying due to concerns over the mall shooting.
At the same time, the Sedro-Woolley Police Department tied a department record for most applications received in one day at 12, Chief Lin Tucker said. “That’s through the roof,” Tucker said.
The Mount Vernon Police Department’s number jumped to 13 for the last week of September after having one application the week before. While Burlington itself has had 13 applications since the shooting after having just one application for the first three weeks of September.
Mary Parker, of Anacortes, applied for a concealed-carry permit last week, stating “I want to make sure it would never happen to me and that if it did, I would be prepared,” Parker said. “I want to be in a place where I will never be afraid.”
Sheriff Bonnie Bowers said she has no qualms with people buying firearms, but said that gun responsibility is important and that to get a concealed-carry permit, residents must visit their police department.
The process that new applicants will go through includes a background check, being fingerprinted, and paying a fee. It then takes about 30 days to receive the permit.