Requests for gun permits skyrocketed in Chicago last year as the city experienced one of its most violent in almost two decades.
Gun permit demand rose 63 percent in 2016 when compared to 2015, according to information obtained by DNA Info.
Approximately 38,712 Chicago residents received state-issued Firearm Owners Identification cards in 2016, compared to the 23,725 who got ones in 2015, according to data from the State Police.
Concealed carry permits have also been on the rise in Chicago. State Police data shows that they went up 50 percent. 13,948 people received them in 2015 while 22,517 did in 2016.
Some gun instructors attribute this rise to residents’ desire to arm themselves in a particularly violent city. Joel Ostrander from SafeShot LTD says that most people who come to his classes are concerned about Chicago’s crime rate.
“People are worried about crime in Chicago,” Ostrander said. “These are well-educated, professional people looking for a way to protect their homes and families.”
Approximately 212,000 people have a license to own a gun in Chicago, according to the State Police. The number has risen since 2014, when the number of licensed people jumped twenty one percent in 2015.
Chicago reported 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims in 2016. The Chicago Police Superintendent blamed the violence on “anti-police sentiment” and loose gun sentencing for multiple gun offenses.
“In many instances, the individuals who chose to pull the trigger are repeat gun offenders emboldened by the national climate against law enforcement and willing to test the limits of our criminal justice system,” Johnson said at the time.
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