LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas State Police are reporting a spike in the number of concealed carry permit applications they've received compared to last year.
In the span of six weeks, from January through the first two weeks of February, 7,500 people have applied for the concealed carry permit.
Compared to the first two months of the past few years, that's 2,000 more applications than the highest year, and seven times the amount from 2006.
If all of those applications are approved, it's a 5 percent concealed carry population increase.
Rock City Lenders has offered free concealed carry training courses to teachers, which are already booked up through the beginning of September. Their regular training courses are already booked at least two weeks in advance.
"The shooting at Breckenridge, the shooting in the mall for example, you just never know," says concealed carry instructor Aaron Acklin. "And it's better to have and not need rather than need and not have."
Acklin believes recent shootings, concealed carry discussions and the gun control debate have all played a role in people's interest in and desire to get trained.
If you want to be able to receive your permit six months from now, course instructors say you should have taken a class a month ago.
Acklin said he has roughly 100 people who will be qualifying for the permit whose applications have not been filed.