Georgia officials say there has been a significant increase in the number of gun permit applications in 2008 compared with the previous year.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reports that there were more than 121,000 firearm applications submitted in 2008. That's up almost 80 percent from the roughly 68,000 permit applications in

The reasons for the increase vary. Some residents were worried it may become harder to get a gun during the Obama administration.

Others said they just want to be able to protect their families, especially in high-crime areas.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the numbers in Georgia are in line with other increases across the country.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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