Sharp Rise in Gun Permit Applications in New Canaan

New Canaan police in the three months since the school shooting at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School have received 76 applications—that's far more than they get for most years.


In January and February alone, New Canaan police received more applications for pistol permits than they had in three of the prior five years.

Typically at less than 10, the number of people applying for permits through the department jumped to 21 in December, the month in which—on Dec. 14—a single gunman shot his own mother, then blasted his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, shooting to death 20 first-graders there and six educators before turning the gun on himself.

Residents appear to be seeking gun permits in greater numbers before changes are made that many feel will make it harder to do so down the road, according to Sgt. Carol Ogrinc of the New Canaan Police Department.

“In many people’s eyes, they’re facing a restriction and they’re getting gun permits now before what seem to be some changes in proposed gun legislation,” Ogrinc said.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which is expected to make legislative recommendations in the areas of safety, gun violence prevention and mental health. Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy said last week that he would not support the confiscation of firearms owned by law-abiding citizens.

Newtown is slightly larger than New Canaan and located about 30 miles north of here. In New Canaan, through February, the town had received 55 total applications in 2013, according to records provided by the Records Division of the New Canaan Police Department—that’s more than twice the figure for all of 2008 and more than the entire years of 2010 and 2011.

Before December, no single month saw more than a dozen people apply for a gun permit—since then the figures jumped to 21 (December), 35 (January) and 20 (February), according to police.

Here’s a table that shows the month-by-month breakdown of gun permit applications from the start of 2008 through February, as per the Records Division of the New Canaan Police Department:

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 January 2 3 6 2 5 35 February 1 12 7 4 5 20 March 1 5 2 6 9   April 4 1 2 2 4   May 0 8 2 1 7   June 2 8 0 4 3   July 0 7 4 6 4   August 1 4 4 5 7   September 1 1 0 1 3   October 4 2 0 8 8   November 8 4 5 6 12   December 3 6 8 6 21   Total 27 61 40 51 88 55 to-date.
Loraine Szatai March 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Scary! Escpecially in a town that has a high incidence of domestic abuse. Please remember that most shootings occur between family members, and worst of all, accidentally, when a child gets a hold of one.
God Bless New Canaan March 18, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Unfortunately, I think this increase has less to do with personal safety, and more to do with a gross politicalization of the gun control issue. I hope that with each of these applications comes a commitment to purchase a lock and adequate safe storage to assure that the gun doesn't fall into the wrong hand. Hug a child, not a pistol grip.!!
Karen March 18, 2013 at 01:51 PM
I recently received my permit in New Canaan. I began the process back in November, and Sandy Hook did not effect my plan one way or another to exercise my 2nd Amendment right. It did, however, make me want to become properly educated and fully trained, as its not something to enter into lightly. I would highly recommend a local instructor I have worked with, Sandy Reddin, and his group at Knight Tactical Solutions: Home - Knight Tactical Solutions | Firearms Training | NY Metro Area and Connecticut Training is an ongoing process that does not end after the Basic Pistol Permit class.
Local Parent March 18, 2013 at 02:27 PM
I am sure this comment will not be received well...but if we could replace our culture's fascination with gun violence and fear of the object, and replace it with education and respect, things might be better. It isn't the gun owners who take the gun safety classes that commit the most crimes.
Angie S. March 18, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Any individual involved in a domestic violence incident will lose his/her permit immediately and have all his/her firearms confiscated by the police, so it's not like there aren't laws already on the books to address some of Loraine's concerns.
Angie S. March 18, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Anyone who goes through the process of applying for a permit here in CT and pays attention in the basic pistol permit class should know how much firearms ownership being a huge responsibility and firearms safety is emphasized. And anyone who has bothered to look beyond stereotypes of the NRA would have discovered that the NRA is responsible for educating many about firearms safety and has actually had a very successful youth education program that brought the rate of accidental discharge of firearms injuring children way down over the past several decades. As far as I'm concerned, the people who fear the most, fear because they haven't taken the time to educate themselves, know nothing about the process, and don't know much about firearms or firearms ownership --- i.e., don't really know what they're talking about. One would expect people to do their research before pronouncing the usual pro gun-control rhetoric that I've been hearing in the media and in this part of the country lately, but, unfortunately, that just isn't human nature.
Loraine Szatai March 18, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Thanks Angie
Charlene March 18, 2013 at 05:05 PM
I took the gun safety class needed before geting a permit. I did this because I wanted to educate myself about guns. I never applied for the actual permit, because as of right now, I don't feel the need to own a gun. In the future I may change my mind, if I do I'll take the class again.
Glen K Dunbar March 18, 2013 at 06:31 PM
I have NO interest whatsoever in a gun or permitt or anything. Why would anyone in New Canaan need a gun anyhow.
Greenhill March 18, 2013 at 07:15 PM
I am very relieved you feel this way Glen and I am sure your neighbors feel comfortable with your lack of firearm ownership.
Charlene March 18, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Glen, because its our right to own guns! Just like its your right to post your complaints about your life online. Sometimes I ask myself "why does Glen constantly complain about his life in New Canaan?" but its your freedom of speech and no one should try and take that away from you.
norman jensen March 18, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Next thing you know we'll be packing guns, holsters and looking over our shoulders while walking down the street. The wild, wild west is back.... NJ
norman jensen March 18, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Steve March 18, 2013 at 10:45 PM
I hope you'll be happy to know that CT requires that all handguns sold in the state include a trigger lock. CT also requires that handguns be secured from those under 16. Had you ever purchased a firearm in CT, you would have received notification of this in writing. All gun manufacturers include trigger locks nowadays as they want to be seen as responsible members of the community.
Steve March 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Exactly. Statistics show that people that take the time to get a pistol permit are 4-5x less likely to be arrested for a crime.
Steve March 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Glen, does anyone need a car that does 200mph? Does your inability to imagine why someone else would own a gun mean that it should be restricted? Most people in New Canaan probably own guns for recreation or collecting rather than self defense. On the other hand, some people understand that they need to be responsible for themselves & the ones they love. Ask Dr.Pettit if he wished he had been able to access a firearm to protect his family.
Steve March 18, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Sorry Norm, since 1987 41 states have passed shall issue handgun carry laws & the violent crime rate is now at its lowest point since 1963. It seems to me that the opposite is happening. Historical statistics show that cities with tight gun control like Chicago & DC have much higher crime rates that the old wild west.
Esprit de Corps March 19, 2013 at 01:09 AM
M. Dunbar, apparently you are speaking more quickly than your brain can monitor and control. While most of your comments are harmless, when you include the word revenge in a gun-control article, you will, perhaps, frighten people. Now would be a good time to remind yourself to think before you post. In fact, it wouldn't be bad if you deleted this post.
Glen K Dunbar March 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Corp. I guess I used the wrong word in the wrong topic. I did in fact delete that ONE post. However, I will post it in another thread and try to remember to change that word
Angie S. March 19, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Norm - one could also see your fear of "the wild, wild west is back" as "paranoia", especially given the data that suggests that those who bother to go through the formal education, training and permitting process are very rarely the ones involved in gun crimes. That "paranoia" label goes both ways --- just as that good ol' "common sense" label activists love to throw around so much these days.
Tom March 22, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Does anyone REALLY believe that having ever more guns out in the public will reduce the liklihood of their discharge?
Canaanite March 22, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Canaanite March 22, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Canaanite March 22, 2013 at 07:45 PM
The issue is NOT WHY anyone needs to own a gun. The answer to that question is utterly irrelevant! The Constitution affords us our RIGHT to own one, and that is ALL that needs to be said on the subject. This debate is stupid . . . One doesn't easily overturn a Constitutional right. Too many people in this country who won't let it happen on their watch. Myself included. I refuse to be a victim . . . All people should learn how to protect themselves. No one who is hell bent on committing a crime and on hurting others will ever respect gun laws. EVER. But they sure as heck would think twice about attacking me if they knew I had a pistol in my pocket!
Steve March 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Tom, its not a matter of believing its a matter of facts. There are more cars on the road yet death rates are going down. There are an estimated 300 million firearms privately owned in the US yet murder rates have dropped to levels not seen since 1963. http://www.ammoland.com/2013/02/gun-ownership-at-all-time-high-nations-murder-rate-at-nearly-all-time-low/
Tom March 23, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Steve, your facts have no relation to one another. Gun violence in the U.S. is up 50% over the last decade. The decline in the murder rate is a function of improved emergency medical response, much of which has been transferred from what the military has learned in Iraq and Afgahnistan.


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