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Gun control backlash: Americans setting records for carry permits

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Kansas citizens last year set a new record for concealed carry permit applications, according to yesterday’s Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, while Illinois residents began applying by the thousands on Sunday, following a trend around the country, including Washington, that suggests a public backlash against last year’s push for new gun control measures, including this state’s dueling initiatives.

It also demonstrates, according to gun rights advocates, that increasing numbers of American citizens want to exercise their right to bear arms for their personal safety. Perhaps the rush to arms is a cornerstone of the backlash.

Kansas last year logged 24,181 new applications including 14,000 during the first four months of the year. The other eight months averaged just over 1,100 carry permit applications. Illinois authorities reported more than 4,500 applications for Illinois concealed carry permits on Sunday, and more than 400,000 applications are expected this year. Breitbart reported today that Sunday’s initial rush in Illinois outpaced applications for Obamacare.

As this column noted, Washington’s concealed carry numbers jumped more than 56,700 last year, topping out 449,552 active concealed pistol licenses at the end of 2013. During the year, similar reports came from neighboring Oregon and Utah.

Yesterday, this column asked how out-of-touch anti-gun liberals are with the rest of the public they seem determined to disarm. Today’s numbers at least partly answer that question.

This year could provide opportunities for gun owners to fight back in significant ways. In addition to this state’s dueling initiatives – an issue that drew an interesting poll result in the Seattle Times – Colorado voters could get a chance to vote on measures that repeal all of last year’s hastily-adopted gun control laws, and require that only the people, not the politicians, get to decide on their right to keep and bear arms in the future.

The late Charlton Heston, during his term as president of the National Rifle Association, talked frequently about a cultural war in America. It appears the lines are being drawn for significant battles to be fought this year.

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