WISE — Concealed gun permits issued in Wise County and the city of Norton set a new record in 2013, with an estimated 1,100 issued during the calendar year, county Clerk of Courts J. Jack Kennedy reported Wednesday.
Concealed gun permits issued this year in Wise County and Norton easily eclipsed the previous record of 707 last year. In 2011, 550 permits were issued and 522 in 2010.
Applicants are required to be residents of the county or Norton, have approved gun training by a certified instructor evidenced by the military, law enforcement or civilian training from a classroom or online instruction.
The permit application fee is $50 for a five-year permit period.
“The two jurisdictions have about 3,200 concealed handgun permits with area residents,” Kennedy said. “Each approved applicant has demonstrated qualifying gun education training and passed a criminal background check with the Virginia State Police.”
Kennedy said in the last two years, work for his office to process applications, and by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, has increased along with the record issuances.
“In two years, the time expended processing concealed handgun permits has doubled by the clerk of court and the sheriff. Nonetheless, it is reassuring when so many law abiding citizens submit to the criminal background check and pass to gain a concealed weapon permit,” he said.
“We do not begrudge the number at all. We welcome it.”