Local residents are arming themselves in record numbers these days. Recent national events, like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and proposed stricter gun legislation, have firearms flying off the shelves of local stores. Many sales are to first-time gun owners. Meanwhile, applications for concealed weapons permits have doubled.
Even with two big guard dogs, Chloe Tatro wanted to go a step further in protecting herself inside her home.
“If someone breaks into my house and I have a bat and they have a gun, who has the advantage?” said Chloe Tatro, a new gun owner.
She says the final straw was coming face-to-face with strange men casing her home.
“I thought, “Okay this is it Chloe. It's time to get real about it,’” said Tatro.
Tuesday she bought her first gun, and is now considering getting a license to carry a concealed weapon.
The Fresno Police Department says the number of applications for CCW’s has spiked in the last couple months. In a five-week period from December to mid-January, the department received 119 applications. That’s nearly double the normal amount.
Jason Tikijian at The Range says sales are up, especially for smaller handguns. They're popular among women.
“They're hearing about the lack of availability and they want to get things before they're not available anymore. Then sometimes just the rise in crime, the rise in violence, and they're worried about the defense of themselves and their family,” said Tikijian.
Tatro says she feels empowered with her new gun, but hopes she never has to use it.
“I honestly hope I never ever find myself in that situation, but if I do, I want to be just as prepared,” said Tatro.
Getting a CCW license takes time and money. You have to go through a series of interviews, meetings, and safety lessons, which takes months. All told, it costs about $300.