INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- The number of Hoosiers looking to carry guns in public is growing.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the number of Hoosiers holding gun-carry permits has grown by nearly 50 percent since 2012. The report bases its findings on data provided by the Indiana State Police Department. In the first three months of 2016, more than 50,000 permits were approved by the state. That's more than half the total number approved in 2015.
According the data compiled, Brown County has the highest number of residents holding gun permits. Rounding out the top five counties for the highest number of residents holding carry permits are Morgan, Posey, Greene, and Hancock.
The report found the five counties which have the lowest number of registered permit holders to be LaGrange, Elkhart, Tippecanoe, St. Joseph, and Monroe.
The report also found the number of women seeking gun permits is increasing as well. According to the Star, the number of women who were approved for permits was 90 percent higher during the first three months of 2016 than during 2012.
Mike Strausburg owns The Men's Toy Shop in Nashville, Indiana, and says he has also seen an increase in the number of women looking to purchase a firearm.
“They want to feel empowered," said Strausburg. "They feel it just gives them an edge.”
But the question of why the spike in permit applications is happening is up for debate. Indiana State Police only track the number of permits applied for and issued; the agency does not ask why a person is applying for the permit.
“Really the common denominator we see is if there's a significant shooting event,” said Indiana State Police Captain David Bursten. "And likewise we see conversation within the political parties…if there's ever a discussion about limiting peoples rights associated with bearing arms, that tends to cause a spike as well.”