In January and February alone, New Canaan police received more applications for pistol permits than they had in three of the prior five years.
Typically at less than 10, the number of people applying for permits through the department jumped to 21 in December, the month in which— on Dec. 14—a single gunman shot his own mother, then blasted his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, shooting to death 20 first-graders there and six educators before turning the gun on himself.
Residents appear to be seeking gun permits in greater numbers before changes are made that many feel will make it harder to do so down the road, according to Sgt. Carol Ogrinc of the New Canaan Police Department.
“In many people’s eyes, they’re facing a restriction and they’re getting gun permits now before what seem to be some changes in proposed gun legislation,” Ogrinc said.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which is expected to make legislative recommendations in the areas of safety, gun violence prevention and mental health. Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy said last week that he would not support the confiscation of firearms owned by law-abiding citizens.
Newtown is slightly larger than New Canaan and located about 30 miles north of here. In New Canaan, through February, the town had received 55 total applications in 2013, according to records provided by the Records Division of the New Canaan Police Department—that’s more than twice the figure for all of 2008 and more than the entire years of 2010 and 2011.
Before December, no single month saw more than a dozen people apply for a gun permit—since then the figures jumped to 21 (December), 35 (January) and 20 (February), according to police.
Here’s a table that shows the month-by-month breakdown of gun permit applications from the start of 2008 through February, as per the Records Division of the New Canaan Police Department:
200820092010201120122013January2 3 6 2 5 35February1 12 7 4 5 20March1 5 2 6 9 April4 1 2 2 4 May0 8 2 1 7 June2 8 0 4 3 July0 7 4 6 4 August1 4 4 5 7 September1 1 0 1 3 October4 2 0 8 8 November8 4 5 6 12 December3 6 8 6 21 Total27 61 40 51 88 55 to-date.