The OSBI received 4,970 initial applications in January, a record month since the beginning of gun licensing in Oklahoma in 1996.
For months, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has reported an enormous influx of initial gun license applications, said OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown.
“This is clearly evident in the number of applications received by the agency in the month of January 2013,” Brown said.
To put the record number into perspective, in January 2012 the OSBI logged 1,861 initial applications, Brown said. In January 2011, the agency accepted 1,515 applications.
The first month the Self Defense Act became law, January 1996, OSBI received 3,256 applications, Brown said. That next month, February 1996, is now the second-highest month for initial applications at 3,949 — more than a 1,000 below last month.
Brown said to handle the increase, the OSBI has hired more full-time and part-time workers for its Self Defense Unit. The agency is also using employees in other divisions of OSBI to help, she said.
“We will continue to work diligently to process the applications as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Brown said.
Applications for renewals also play a part in this matrix. The OSBI received 1,137 renewal applications last month. That number was down slightly from January 2012, which tallied 1,151 renewals.
The OSBI will not offer a reason for the increase, Brown said. Due to the length of the entire process of getting one’s gun license, it is difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint a relationship between a public event and someone applying for a license, Brown said.
As of January 2013, there were 146,091 active Self Defense Act license holders.
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