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More West Virginians seek concealed carry permits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — About 13,000 West Virginians received a concealed carry gun permit from Jan. 1 through the end of March, according to records maintained by the West Virginia State Police.

If Mountain State residents continue to obtain gun permits at the same rate they have in the first three months of the year, the state will see the highest number of permit requests in any year since 2009, the first year for which data is maintained.

In addition to the preliminary 2015 totals, West Virginia residents received more than 32,000 concealed weapons permits last year alone.

The total number of licenses includes renewals and newly awarded permits. State law requires concealed carry permits to be renewed every five years.

For the five-year period ending on Dec. 31, 2014, West Virginia had 147,801 active concealed carry weapons permits. That works out to about 8 percent of Mountain State residents who held an active concealed weapons permit last year.

The totals do not include any permits that were surrendered or revoked.

A closer look at the state reveals the percent of gun permit holders in each county ranges from about 4 percent up to nearly 13 percent.

Just 4.5 percent of Monongalia County residents had an active gun permit in 2014 — which is the lowest in the state — while as many as 12.8 percent of Wyoming County residents had an active permit…

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