Demand for concealed weapons classes, permits on the rise - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Demand for concealed weapons classes, permits on the rise

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The desire to carry a gun is soaring across the state of South Carolina, but also across Horry County. Several gun shops across the county say everything from getting a concealed carry permit to the training classes to the sales are on the rise.

 "Definitely- the need is here," "A Shooting Affair" Owner Lori Lilley said.

Lilley opened her store that caters to women in December, because she saw more women wanting protection.

 "I feel with the increase in crime, women are becoming more independent. Not every woman is the traditional married wife and women have to be able to take care of themselves," Lilley said.

Lilley's husband, James, teaches concealed carry classes, and said the phones are ringing off the hook with people wanting to sign up.

"We've seen a big influx. We actually get phone calls probably daily from people asking when we're doing concealed weapons permit classes," Lilley said.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said it's getting swamped with applications for concealed weapons permits. A bill is moving through the legislature that if passed, would raise the cost for a permit from $50 to $75.

A SLED Spokeswoman said the agency is so busy it's thinking about creating a second shift of workers that would specifically be designated to process the concealed carry permit applications.

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