DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The state is seeing a record number of Concealed Weapons Applications and it's keeping local gun shops busy.
Concealed Weapons License (CWL) applications have reached record high volumes in the last several months. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried tells FOX 35 Orlando when the pandemic started there was an increase in CWL license applications and gun and ammunition sales.
"We saw that in the very beginning where there was a lot of uncertainty and what kind of parameters were going to be in place. Were gun shops going to be closed?" said Fried.
Commissioner Fried says the demand has not slowed down. Also, attributing the presidential election. Fried says normally during an election year, there is an increase in gun sales and CWL applications, but this October has the highest number of CWL applications in the state's history.
"Especially this emotionally charged election cycle this year where the increased upticks were again where October was such a huge number of 38,000," said Fried.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is processing about 10,000 applications every week. It's taking about 40 days to review applications. The department has been adding staff, updating its process to shorten wait times, and is working on hiring more people to handle the demand.
"We're going to make sure everyone has a thorough background check and we're doing it in an effective and accountable manner," said Fried.
Gun shops like Volusia Top Gun have been trying to keep up with the demand.
"The demand has gone up to the point where it's almost hard to keep up with," said General Manager Paul Jabaly. "Who would have thought toilet paper and ammunition would be the hot items of 2020."
Volusia Top Gun's concealed weapons courses have also been booking up quickly so they've added more classes to the schedule to handle the interest.
"The world is kind of crazy right now and people want to be able to protect themselves," said
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