The number of applications for concealed carry permits in the coastal region of Virginia has nearly doubled in five years due to residents looking to protect themselves against potential threats.
York County and the independent city of Newport News have seen the biggest jump in numbers, according to the Daily Press.
York County and Newport News had the highest jump in permits between 2009 and 2013. In 2009 there were 707 permit holders in York County compared with 1,654 last year. Newport News had 1,338 permit holders in 2009 compared with 2,230 in 2013. The concealed carry permit totals include permit renewals, which must be done every five years.
Resident referenced various reasons for applying for the permit, like 30-year-old Michael Christin, a former pizza delivery driver.
“I may be in Norfolk delivering pizza in a bad part of town where there might not be a cop on the corner. There is no time to call the police,” Christin told the Daily Press. “Even if I’m at home and somebody were to try to break in my house, it would take 15 minutes for a police officer to get to me.”
Local law enforcement officials told the Daily Press that they are comforted knowing that there are “well-trained, law-abiding citizens” willing to protect themselves and others.