- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gun permit applications in Newtown, Conn., skyrocketed in the five months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, reflecting the anxiety among residents as the legislature was debating tougher gun-control legislation, the Hartford Courant first reported.

Between January and May of this year, Newtown residents applied for 183 permits, up from the 87 permits during the same time period last year. Connecticut towns award temporary permits, whereas the state issues full permits, the newspaper said.

Statewide, police issued 18,233 new permits from March to September 2013, which reflects a 78 percent increase from the same period the year prior.

Local officials said they believed the Sandy Hook shooting, where 20 first-graders and six women were killed, as well as new gun-control legislation, is likely what prompted the rush for new gun permits.

“Many people expressed their concerns even before the shooting that gun laws were going to change and there would be tighter restrictions on getting a gun permit,” Newtown police records manager Robert Berkins told the Courant.

The Newtown police department was so bogged down with paperwork that it had to hire a part-time clerk to help process the applications.

Tougher laws were passed in April but did not go into effect until months later.

Legislation passed in April banned the sale of more than 100 types of “military-style rifles,” limited large-capacity magazines to 10 bullets, and it imposed stricter penalties, the report said.

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