In 2016, Chicago experienced one of its most violent years in almost 2 decades. Applications for gun permits rose, perhaps in response to the rise in crime.
2016 gun permit requests increased by 63%, compared with 2015. According to State Police information, 23,725 Chicago residents were given state-issued Firearm Owner’s Identification cards in 2015, compared to 38,712 in 2016. That’s an increase of around 15,000 permits in just one year.
Carry to conceal permits have also gone up, with an increase of 50% last year. 2015 saw 13,948 permits granted, with that almost doubling to 22,517 in 2016.
2015 also presented a significant increase over previous years, with an approximate 20% rise over 2014 figures. State Police claim that 212,000 people possess gun licenses in the city.
The Daily Caller asked a local gun instructor about the atmosphere in Chicago:
Some gun instructors attribute this rise to residents desire to arm themselves in a particularly violent city. Joel Ostrander from SafeShot LTD says that most people who come to his classes are concerned about Chicago’s crime rate.
“People are worried about crime in Chicago,” Ostrander said. “These are well-educated, professional people looking for a way to protect their homes and families.”
Police blame the increase of violent crime in the city on “anti-police sentiment” and inadequate sentencing.