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Georgians arm themselves

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  With so many armed robberies it's no surprise south Georgians are arming themselves in staggering numbers.

Dougherty and Lee County probate courts have already had more applications for conceal carry permits in ten months this year than all of last year. Dougherty County has had 1,374 applications for conceal carry permits and Lee County has had more than 667 applications.

Thursday night the Lee County Sheriff's office will hold a gun safety workshop for women, because demand in the community has been so high.

At Backwoods Outdoors gun sales have yet to slow down.

"Probably running close to three thousand or so guns since the first of the year I would say," said Austin Albright, Backwoods Outdoors Salesman.

Seventy-five percent of the sales have been handguns. Employees say those coming in are worried about their personal safety and the armed robbery last night in Albany is why.

"It was a matter of time before something like that happened, you'd be surprised by the people who do have fire arms and do have fire arms permits," said Albright.

The demand for personal protecting is so high among women in Lee County the Sheriff's Office is holding a gun safety class this week to teach both the mechanics and the law behind owning a gun.

"We plan on doing another one, if the demand's high enough I plan on doing another one in December," said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.

While he says the community has the right to protect itself, citizens should also know the law.

"You've got to feel like you are threatened just like the incident in Albany, that's a good example. They felt threatened and they took care of, they had to take care of themselves," said Rachals.

At Backwoods Outdoors salesmen say that's what's brining people into the store, the threat that what happened on Cromartie Beach Drive could happen to them.

"It could be them next and they know that," said Albright. In addition to the gun safety class the Lee County Sheriff's Office is also considering hold a personal safety class for women to teach them other safety tips.

For more information about the classes you can long onto the Sheriff's Office's website. In Dougherty County, the cost of a conceal carry permit is $55.00 plus a $5.00 fingerprinting fee at the Sheriff's Office.

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