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Vernon Experiencing a Surge in Pistol Permit Applications

The lobby of the police department was filled with potential applicants on Wednesday.

One item just stood out in Tuesday's log of police calls.

It read 11 a.m. - Pistol permit application.

There were two more with it.

And seven in all.

Fast forward to Wednesday night. At 6 p.m., the lobby was full of folks seeking pistol permit applications. There were more than a dozen, a one-time total Public Information Officer William Meier said he has never seen before.

"We have seen a surge in applications since the President's re-election," Police Chief James Kenny said. "I think that people fear what changes may come in wake of the tragedy in Newtown."

Kenny said the Vernon POlice Department normally processes about 160 applications by this time of the year. This year, as of Tuesday, that number is up to 211. 

"Recent events have accelerated the application process," said Kenny who added that from Monday until Tuesday, records staffers filled the application folder in the lobby three times.

The permit process is involved - and not cheap.

Records Supervisor Louis Palshaw - a former police officer himself - said applicants must first obtain a form from the local department at a cost of $70. The local department then performs a background screening. If approved - and it can take up to six weeks for that - a temporary, 60-day permit is issued.

The background check is then sent to the state police, who would then issue  a five-year picture ID and permit if a few more checks pan out. That is another $70.

Fingerprinting is required, a cost of $16.50 to $50, depending on who does it at what level. Locally, there is also a $10 processing fee.

Since January of 2008, Vernon has processed fees on 2,358 applications for pistol permits, Palshaw said.

A search of names regarding pistol permits revealed 166,200 transactions since records were kept on the matter in the early 1960s.

Vernon has records of 3,600 gun transfers this year. That involves new sales and family transfers.

vernoncitizen December 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Let's not forget the recent sexually motivated attack on the Rails to Trails and the sexual assault on Merline Road in 2009 that still remain unsolved. These two crimes alone are reason enough for Vernon residents to feel the need for a fire arm. Are you in agreement?

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