Nestled just outside the panhandle, you'll find Arnett, Okla., a town of just 500. Breaking the silence in this quiet town -- concealed carry training.
There are several reasons Sarah Miller got her license.
"When I go hunting, I always use my rifle and stuff, and it's nice to have that, but it's also nice to have a pistol and have it with you to protect yourself," Miller said.
Concealed carry applications are up across the state.
In fact, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations says applications for gun permits more than doubled this January compared to last January.
In Ellis county, it's even more impressive. People applied for gun licenses at twice the rate when compared to all the other 76 Oklahoma counties. The sheriff says one reason for it may have to do with convenience.
"They've increased in the number of people coming and asking to apply. That's when we started holding schools ourselves here in the county at this location," said Ellis County Sheriff DeWayne Miller.
That's right. You can apply and take your concealed carry class right here, at the sheriff's office. In many places you'd have to attend an eight hour class somewhere else and find one that's OSBI approved.
"We feel that the people need to be aware and that's why we promote it and bring it forth, and we advertise it. We get out amongst the people, gun stores, schools and other areas just to bring people in to take the class," said Sheriff DeWayne.
There is some motivation for the sheriff too. The sheriff says he and his deputies cover all but one of the county's 1,200 square miles. It would take them at least 45 minutes to get to an emergency at the opposite end.
It's a reason he wants his citizens armed and able to protect themselves.
"Yes, the culture is to own guns, but people think they have a right to defend themselves and their property," DeWayne said.
As for Sarah, she grew up in a hunting town, "I've always been around guns," she said.
But still she says safety comes first.
"This class was a great opportunity to learn about gun safety, and I mean, you can never go wrong with learning more about protecting yourself," Miller said.
Because of the influx, it's taking about two months to process concealed carry applications. To learn more about getting your concealed carry license visit www.ok.gov/osbi/Handgun_Licensing (http://bit.ly/gunlicense).
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