More than 7,000 new concealed pistol licenses have been issued in Washington State since Examiner last checked with the Department of Licensing in mid-May, bringing the total to 433,223 as of Monday morning, when this column noted new figures would be available.
That figure is about half the number of the April-to-May surge of more than 15,000 CPLs, but it still represents a very strong demand by Washingtonians for carry licenses. It also is on par with what appears to be an average of between 7,000 and 8,000 new CPLs being issued every month since the first of this year, when the number of CPLs was at 392,784, according to The Gun Mag.com.
It comes to more than 40,400 new CPLs issued since January, figures retained by this column show.
The surge in concealed carry coincides with a period of sometimes heated debate over new gun laws and a move by a well-financed Seattle-based group that has launched an initiative to the Legislature to expand background checks. Many Evergreen State gun rights activists are concerned this could lead to a de facto gun registration scheme that goes far beyond the state’s current handgun registry.
At the same time this is happening, Open Carry Washington members are discussing the first in what promises to be a four-part series by Vancouver-based gun control advocate Heidi Yewman who bought a gun recently and is apparently carrying it as some kind of learning experience. She has already violated some common sense safety principles, the OC crowd has observed, including – first and foremost – carrying a handgun that she knows almost nothing about.
She admitted to even having approached a police officer on an unrelated traffic stop to ask how her pistol operated and to find out whether it was loaded. Allegedly, the dealer from whom she bought the pistol did not show here these things, an assertion that seems incredulous to veteran gun owners.
Her big adventure so far appears to have been an armed visit to a local coffee shop, where she scared herself by being able to sit near mothers with their children.
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Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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