A new survey indicates about two thirds of Alabamians own a gun and almost fifty percent have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
The poll shows gun ownership in the state is almost double that of the rest of the nation.
Nowhere is this trend more evident than here in the wiregrass. Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes says from April 2007 to April 2008 they sold more than 6400 pistol permits. That's around a 32 percent increase from the previous year.
“We sell an average of 400 pistol permits per month here in Houston County a lot of citizens come in and get a pistol permit. We handle a lot of people that renew they're permits on a yearly basis.”
Bill Tatum at pawn city says he's seen about a 10 percent increase in gun sales from last year.
“Most inquiries are about self protection they're worried about when crime is up and things like that what they need to protect themselves this time of year with the economy and all they're worried that things are getting worse and harder on them and what they need to protect themselves with.”
Gun dealers say they're anticipating an increase in sales due to the upcoming election. Retailers say with a change in national leadership can come and change in gun ownership laws, so people are preparing themselves now.
“The confidence in the government is not very high and so people are going to defend their values, defend their moral beliefs, defend their homes and loved ones. That’s what they're doing, securing the weapons to do that, that's what we see.
For now, it seems that Wiregrass residents are gunning for more protection. Officials say if you own a handgun and are on your own property, you don't need a permit. If you carry the gun off your property, you must have a pistol permit.