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Gun permits are popular these days

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February 2, 2009

By: Len Kiese

Albany--  More Georgians are packing heat and Dougherty County is no exception.

Statewide, gun permit applications went up about 80-percent in 2008. In Dougherty County, the numbers are almost as dramatic. In 2007, the county processed 693 concealed weapons permit applications. Last year, that number rose to more than 1,100.

2009 is already off to a busy start for Dougherty County Probate Judge Nancy Stephenson. There were nearly 160 applications in January and more to finish processing on her desk at the time of this report.

"We talk to people occassionally when they come in for a permit and I think it partly has to do with the law changing last year and part of it is I'm sure the feeling everywhere that people aren't as safe as they used to be," said Stephenson.

Stephenson says the process is now much faster in Dougherty County since the Sheriff's Office computerized their fingerprinting process. What used to take six months now takes days.

It's projected Dougherty County will process nearly 1,900 permit applications this year.

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