MARIETTA, Ga. -- According to the Cobb county probate court, concealed carry permits are very susceptible to news coverage. They go up when Georgia Tech sees a series of robberies, and when a major shooting takes place.
So when the worst mass shooting in history happened in Colorado, it's no surprise to many that the country is seeing an uptick in sales and permit requests.
In Cobb, they're seeing an average of 16 more people coming in to get a permit each day. According to numbers provided by the court, about 28 people per day came in on average in the 10 days before the shooting. In the days since, it's averaged about 44.
"These things can happen anywhere, in the mall, in a movie theater you never know," said Nicole Vallencourt, who came into court Monday to apply for a permit. "Before, I thought if anything were to happen I have no way to protect myself, especially with having a kid in tow."
The uptick was first reported Monday by the Marietta Daily Journal, but it's not just a Cobb County phenomenon. 11Alive found permit requests are up in Fulton County, Cherokee, DeKalb and Gwinnett. Permit requests are the easiest numbers to verify, but many gun store owners say their sales are up too. At Lakeside Guns in Acworth, they say more and more people are coming in with the theater shooting on their minds.
"That's what I've heard this past weekend, 'Maybe I could have changed the outcome if I was there," said owner Kristina Brown. "All day long, we hear it probably from one in three customers that come through the door."
Georgia does not require concealed carriers to go through any additional training. Many gun control advocates point to that as a danger to the public. Though he is a trained target shooter, Army veteran Derek Seltzer agrees.
"There is again a common sense factor, you may have a firearm but if you don't know how to use it or when to use it or where to use it, then it becomes a liability issue," Seltzer said. He's used to seeing the gun sales surge as well. "That is the typical panic reaction, the person that didn't like guns all of a sudden has to get one."
At Lakeside Guns, they say training is the key to safe gun protection. They recently broke ground on what they say will be a state of the art gun range near Powder Springs. They point out that target shooting is not as rare an activity as many might think. According to 2011 numbers from the National Sporting Goods Association, there are nearly 20 million target shooters in the US, which compares with 21 million golfers. As the latest surge continues, both sides agree training is a crucial component of gun ownership.
"I myself have training all the time," Brown said. "You cannot have enough training."