Handgun registration numbers increase in Mid-Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Handgun registration numbers increase in Mid-Michigan

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(01/31/13) - The gun debate has people across the country fired up. Guns shops continue to report a spike in sales.

"We have handguns, we have long guns," said Cary Morin of Williams Gun Sight Company. "It's been extremely busy for the past five weeks."

But what you want may not be in stock.

"Our revolver cabinet is empty," Morin said. "Our business has increased dramatically."

It's the same story at Flint Township's Gabriel Protection and Training.

Co-Owner Chuck Melki says there's been a steady increase for his classes since the horrific Sandy Hook shootings on Dec. 14.

There were seven people in his basic concealed pistol license class this past Sunday. He says, on average, he trains 15-20 people every weekend. People like Lisa Riley, Dale Gentle and Virginia Basner.

"I want to feel safe in my own home," Riley said.

"I may have to defend myself. Or my family. Or someone else possibly," Gentle said.

"I wanna spend some time with a pistol, learn how to shoot and carry," Basner said.

For whatever reason, more people are purchasing handguns.

Michigan State Police track handgun registrations, pistol sales records and licenses to purchase. Spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says those stats don't add up to the exact number of guns that are out there because some may have transferred ownership, or were registered more than once.

But, it does give us an idea.

In six counties, state police recorded 103-324 registrations from 2010 to January 22, 2013. Every county saw a jump year to year.

For example, Bay County increased by 858 from 2011 - 2012. Saginaw County saw 1,064 more during the same time.

Maybe most telling though are the numbers in Genesee County. Genesee County saw more than three times as many for an increase of 3,286 handgun registrations.

During just the first three weeks of January? Genesee County has had 859 - that's more than Bay and Saginaw Counties combined.

A closer look at the number of handgun registrations per county can be found below.

  Bay County Genesee County Lapeer County Midland County Saginaw County Shiawassee County Total
2010 3,482 13,142 2,936 2,458 4,955  1,741  28,714
2011 3,927 14,713 3,327 2,588 5,004  2,561  32,120
2012 4,785 17,999 4,264 3,558 6,068  3,356  40,030
2013 278 859 382 302  358  281  2,460
Total 12, 472 46,713 10,909 8,906  16,385  7,939 103,324
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