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This weekend, Aposhian is in St. George, hosting a free concealed-weapons training session for teachers and school staff who want to carry guns on campus.
Despite guns getting "demonized" by the Obama administration, Aposhian says studies show a deep dip in gun crimes. "There’s a heck of a lot more guns out there," he says, "and yet, there’s a lot less crime."
Big boxes to Beaver » Cabela’s was Utah’s top gun retailer in 2012, according to BCI’s list, followed by Sportsman’s Warehouse. Gunnies in Orem, Gallenson’s in downtown Salt Lake City and Impact Guns in Ogden round out the top five. Two outlets in Vernal crack the top 20, while two more in Roosevelt make the list.
By county, firearm checks in 2013 mostly follow Utah’s population centers. But there are anomalies. Beaver County already has logged 319 gun-purchase requests, more than 17 other counties, including the much larger Box Elder, Wasatch, Summit and Carbon counties.
Sanpete (320 checks) sits alongside Beaver, while Tooele County has seen more 2013 gun requests than Cache, which is twice its size.
Revocations rising » Mirroring the buying trend, Utah’s concealed-weapon permit denials, revocations and suspensions also are on the rise.
From 1996 to 2006, permit denials remained near 100 each year, BCI records show, never more than 162. Those numbers tripled by 2008, peaked at 913 in 2009 and have stood above 600 every year since.
This year, there have been 254 denials, a pace that would eclipse the previous high. Felonies, including rape, kidnapping, armed robbery and attempted sexual abuse of a child are registered for 32 of the rejections.
Revocations paint the same picture. They logged as few as 13 in 1996 and 18 a decade later.
But by 2008 the number neared 300, then increased by 100 during the three ensuing years. This year, one permit was revoked for the felony crime of "manufacturing a firebomb."
"A lot of it is we have more valid permits," explains Chapman, the BCI firearms supervisor. "There’s more permit holders out there."
Utah has issued more than 442,000 valid concealed firearm permits as of March 31. And they must be renewed every five years.
Concealed permit suspensions also have increased every year on record — from 46 in 2004 to 1,034 in 2012.
Since 2000, BCI has checked arrest records daily.
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