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New gun violence will likely drive CCW applications

KSNV – Las Vegas 1/25/2023 Steve Wolford
© Provided by KSNV – Las Vegas

Based on past experience, at least two local firearms instructors predict a new bump in Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) applications because of the recent uptick in gun violence, like the mass shooting Saturday night in Monterey, California.

"Usually, after incidents like that happen, we definitely see people that call in, and they say, you know, it's probably a good idea to get some training," said firearms instructor Ken Ortega, co-owner of HPP Training.

According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, there are 287,978 active permits to carry a concealed firearm statewide. And the number of new permits issued has steadily grown since 25,375 permits were issued in 2019. DPS says 30,158 CCWs were issued in 2020, followed by a significant jump to 44,331 in 2021, with an additional 37,320 in 2022.

Ortega and his wife, HPP Training co-owner Maggie Mordaunt say they noticed more people taking CCW classes during the pandemic. 

"Maggie and I saw a lot of people that were not usually thinking about having a firearm in their life. Now they were suddenly thinking about it because, you know, everything was getting shut down," Ortega said.

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"I saw that it was typically the person you wouldn't see in a classroom," said Mordaunt. "Maybe someone who even showed up to the class and said, you know, normally, I would never buy a gun. I was anti-gun before, but I'm starting to see that I am my own first line of defense. It's taking longer for maybe law enforcement or first responders to get to where I am to help me out."

Mordaunt says her CCW classes typically run between 20 and 30 students. She's also noticed a trend involving more women feeling like they would like to get a conceal permit.

"We're seeing more and more women who are taking up arms," said Mordaunt. "We've seen an 80% uptick in the purchase of all of the things from guns to holsters to range bags, ammunition, things like that. There are a lot of women out there taking a stand to defend themselves, and also coming and taking training as well."

For women interested in learning more about firearms for self-defense, Mordaunt says they can reach out to the Nevada Firearms Coalition, which offers its Annie Oakley program at the Clark County Shooting Complex every Tuesday night at no charge.

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