Local gun sales, permit applications mixed

By Patty Hastings and Cami Joner

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In the wake of last week's Colorado shooting, the status of gun sales and concealed weapon permits in Clark County appears mixed.

Local firearm sales have not spiked after the shooting, according to the owners of two Vancouver pawn shops that sell guns.

However, "fear is a powerful motivator," said Dave Fox, owner of Continental Loan & Jewelry Co. He has had no customer feedback about the shooting. Neither has pawnshop owner Jeff Lanford, of the Lucky Loan Pawn Shop in downtown Vancouver.

"We haven't seen any increase at this point in time," he said.

However, support specialists for the Clark County Sheriff's Office said they've seen an increase in the amount of permits processed within the past week. Specialist Emily Cain estimated the office received 30 concealed pistol license applications Tuesday and another 30 on Monday.

People may be renewing their permits, Cain said, since the permit is only good for five years.

For new applicants, she says the process is pretty easy. If an applicant hasn't committed one of a number of prohibited crimes, can pass a background check and is 21 or older, they get the permit.

"We're one of the more lenient states," Cain said.

In Oregon, by comparison, applicants must complete a concealed handgun safety class and receive certification before they can get their permits.