CHICAGO (CBS) — The demand for gun permits is surging in Chicago, with thousands more Cook County residents applying for permits this past year.
Almost 10,000 more people in Cook County alone applied for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card last year. Almost 6,000 applied this year in January alone.
“It’s very interesting the kinds of people we’re getting, said Daniel Conidi, a shooting instructor of more than 30 years and former federal agent. “A lot of professional people, doctors, lawyers.”
Men and women of all ages and all walks of life are putting their fingers on the trigger for the first time.
“They’re just the kind of people that normally, naturally aren’t involved with firearms,” Conidi said. “People that never shot a gun. They just really feel this need to protect themselves and their family from the crime problems we’re seeing in Chicago.”
Rudy Medrano, also an instrubor and former federal agent, said the same thing.
“A vast majority of legal gun owners never end up using it,” he said.
While Conidi and Medrano admittedly welcome new business, they have some expert reservations about the rise, too.
“Not everyone is capable of carrying a firearm,” Medrano said. “Along with the right comes responsibility. That’s up to the individual.”
The Chicago Police Department said the vast majority of shootings in the city are committed with illegal guns.