Firearms are a hot commodity in Dougherty County

In December there were 150 permits filed in Dougherty County, almost 4 times the average. / File

The high profile shootings in Seattle, Washington, Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut have thrust the topic of gun control into the lime light, so it's no wonder firearms are on the minds of a lot of Dougherty county residents.

"Gun permit applications have been increasing for a while now but there was a big spike around December," said Probate Court Judge Nancy Stephenson.

In December there were 150 permits filed in Dougherty County, almost 4 times the average, and Judge Stephenson says that may having something to do with the potential of stricter gun laws.

Local firearm retailers say they've seen an increase in business ever since the presidential election, they saw another jump in business after the school shooting in Connecticut.

"After the shooting, a lot of people came in and thought maybe the laws would get changed, I guess people got scared and started buying up more firearms," says firearms salesman Brandon Herrington, from Quick Cash Pawn and Title Pawn.

A lot of these customers are first time gun owners who are purchasing them for a few reasons.

"Just general protection for your home, you know stuff like that, they might want to go target shooting," said Kid Dupree, the Manager of Quick Cash Pawn and Title Pawn.

No matter the reason for buying a gun, each customer, must apply for a permit, or have a back ground check performed by the retailer, which helps to prevent weapons from ending up in the hands of someone who shouldn't have one.

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