Instructors say concealed weapons permits on the rise

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) There has been a lot of talk about gun rights lately, but are more people taking advantage of their right to bear arms? Some gun enthusiasts say yes.

Instructors say it is a fairly simple process to get a permit, including an eight hour class of information and about 50 rounds of hand-on experience. Grand Strand residents say they are either very supportive of the idea or they are against guns even being in the house.

Tina Kearns says, "We shoot guns as a family and we are interested in the types of guns that are out there." Kearns, a local nurse practitioner, says she sees the importance of getting a concealed weapons permit to protect herself and her 8-year-old daughter.

Kearns says, "You have to be prepared when someone steals your purse. what are you going to do, let them have it or fight back?" Tina says she is educating her daughter to respect weapons. She adds, "My husband and I have already started teaching our daughter to be careful about a gun. If you see a gun not to point it, not get near the barrel, about safety…so we have started to do that at [age] eight."

Concealed weapons instructors say more people are being educated about self-defense. Already this year, they say almost 300 more South Carolinians have gotten permits. Firearms instructor Melvin McKinney says, "Every time something happens people are more aware of it...Someone in the neighborhood got robbed or someone they know had an incident."

McKinney says according to South Carolina rules you are allowed to have a gun in your home, in your car and even at your place of work depending on different company policies. But some parents who spoke with WMBF News say they don't like the idea of guns anywhere near their kids.

Lynn Nguyen says, "Kids are fed with garbage-violent TV, cartoons. What goes in comes out. I would not own one. I wouldn't put a gun in my house." Nguyen says she has a guard dog and a baseball bat to defend herself instead.

Most people agree that concealed weapons permits are not for everyone and that each person should evaluate what type of self defense is best for them.

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