In the seven weeks since terrorists killed 14 people in San Bernardino, requests for concealed firearms permits have skyrocketed throughout the Inland Empire, leading to crippling backlogs and massive delays at the public safety agencies that process applications.
San Bernardino County reported a nine-fold increase in concealed weapons applications in the month that followed the Dec. 2 terror attacks, and the surge continues. In Riverside County, the permitting process is so backlogged that it now takes a year-and-a-half to meet with an official to submit an application.
The spike is so pronounced that it has angered gun advocates and gun critics alike. To those who see the proliferation of firearms as a problem, another rush for guns is just the latest chapter in a tragically familiar story. To those who consider concealed weapons a constitutional right, government bureaucracy is paralyzing their best tool for self-defense.
“It’s ridiculous,” said John R. Lott Jr., a pro-gun academic with the nonprofit Crime Prevent Research Center. “Most states in the country will get you a concealed carry permit within at least 60 days. What if you have a woman who is being stalked or threatened? What is she supposed to do – wait a year and a half just to get an appointment?”
The rush for concealed weapons began after Dec. 2, when a radicalized Islamic couple attacked a county government holiday party held at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Syed Rizwan Farook, a U.S.-born county inspector, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, a Pakistan national, attacked the party with assault rifles and handguns, then fled the building, leaving behind a homemade bomb that failed to detonate. Police then tracked the couple to a home in nearby Redlands, leading to a car chase and gunfight that killed both suspects. The FBI is still investigating the mass shooting, but has called the attacks acts of terrorism.
Read more here.