Nearly 1 million Floridians carry concealed weapons permit

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Since President Obama's re-election, the number of guns being sold across the country has skyrocketed.

In the Sunshine State, officials say, the number of conceal-carry permits is about set to hit an all-time high.

St. Lucie County Shooting Range owner Ed Hensen says the demand for guns is steadily climbing.

He says the spike has been fueled by fear of stricter gun laws. "People panicked, and rightfully so. They're concerned about their second amendment."

Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam made a landmark announcement Wednesday: "Florida will have one million active conceal weapons licenses next week".

That milestone will mean one out of every 19 Florida residents will be armed.

After two victims were killed in a fatal mall shooting in Oregon, Port St. Lucie resident Brittney Eakins says it's too easy to get guns. "I think, they get into the wrong hands. I mean, a lot of people do use guns for protection. I've seen it, and a lot of people use it for stupidity. I've seen that."

Hensen says guns don't kill -- people kill. And, he says, responsible gun usage can offer protection. "If you have educated people, well-trained people, with a firearm, it may eliminate some of these bad guys."

In the meantime, he says, more and more people are choosing to arm themselves, upping the dramatic surge in permit holders. "Their biggest concern, everybody tells us, is they're afraid of losing their right."

Since Florida's Conceal Carry Licensing Program began 25 years ago, more than two million people have been issued permits.

Next week will mark the first time more than a million have been active at once.

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