Gun permits reach record pace in Cobb
by Geoff Folsom
gfolsom@mdjonline.com
January 05, 2013 12:18 AM | 5226 views | 19 19 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mike Sikes of Acworth talks to Cobb Probate Clerk Jonathan Swiney as he files an application for a concealed weapons permit Friday afternoon.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Mike Sikes of Acworth talks to Cobb Probate Clerk Jonathan Swiney as he files an application for a concealed weapons permit Friday afternoon.
Staff/Emily Barnes
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MARIETTA — Applications for concealed weapons permits are reaching numbers no one in Cobb County’s probate court can remember seeing before.

In December, 1,212 applications were filed, Probate Court Judge Kelli Wolk said. That was nearly twice the 642 filed in December 2011.

“This is the busiest we’ve ever been,” Wolk said.

Of the concealed weapons applications filed in December, 843 came since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman killed 26 people, 20 of them children. Though the first business day after the shooting was Dec. 17, leaving less than half the month, the number of applications filed in just over two weeks was more than any complete month since 2009.

The shootings have led to calls for more gun control, including a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004.

The increase in applications has led Wolk to move staff around to meet the demand. The judge herself is now working on marriage applications, in order to free others up to handle weapons permits.

“I just help with the marriage licenses so I don’t mess up the firearm licenses,” Wolk said. “The chief clerk, me, anyone who’s around, we just assist. We’re all up there helping out any way that we can.”

The Board of Commissioners had approved a part time position last year to help with probate court, but Wolk said the college student who took the job recently took an internship, leaving the position vacant.

Wolk said that her chief license clerk had never seen more than 100 applications filed in a single day in her 19 years at the office. But the number of applications reached triple figures on five days in the second half of December, topping out at 133 applications filed on Dec. 28.

In January, there’s been little slowdown, with 208 applications filed by midday Friday, two-and-a-half days into the month, Wolk said.

Since 2006, the only other times the county has exceeded 1,000 applications in a month came shortly after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, when 1,118 applications were filed in February 2009 and 1,105 were filed a month later.

The extra concealed weapons applications also have an impact on the Cobb Sheriff’s Office, where applicants go to electronically scan a fingerprint after filing their paperwork in the probate court office.

Col. Don Bartlett, head of administrative services with the department, said the office recently added a new LiveScan machine to replace an aging machine that transmits fingerprint images to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Georgia Crime Information Center. But after demand increased, officials were able to get permission to bring the old machine back online.

But having two machines means having to now have two people on staff to take fingerprints, Bartlett said.

“Typically, we would easily do that function with one person, it definitely takes two people now,” he said. “We appreciate everybody’s patience. I don’t think we’ve ever seen numbers like we’re seeing right now.”
Comments
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FROM TEXAS
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January 15, 2013
Because of greed you keep re-finger printing everybody and wasting resources in the process. Once a law-a-biding citizen is finger printed you don’t need to keep doing that to make more money just renew the license. Could save a lot of time and money think about it.
I know the law in GA
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January 08, 2013
TIC - You are WRONG. In GA there is no form or tracking for the purchase of a firearm between private parties.
Vorant
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January 07, 2013
Hate to break it to concealed carry permit holders but all you're doing is making it easier for the government to find you when confiscation comes. The closet totalitarians are gleeful at the prospect of a disarmed populace, then the real culling of citizens who hold beliefs contrary to the government and their oligarch masters beliefs. The US Government has already proved itself capable of mass murder, just ask Native Americans, just ask those who know the atrocities perpetrated on the citizenry during the Civil War, just ask those who remember the My Lai massacre in Vietnam in 1968, the killing of 4 "students" at Kent State in 1970, remember the Branch Davidians in Texas in 1993 and countless innocents killed in "US wars" since 1990. I guess you Pro-confiscation guys are OK with the US government killing at will, as long as BIG BROTHERS attention isn't on YOU! You people are truly sicking.
Pat H
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January 06, 2013
As a gun owner, a concealed carry license, and a good working knowledge of how to use a gun, I would welcome the publishing of the addresses of gun owners.

The criminals would know who to avoid when the try a home invasion. Don't expect me to help you out Ms. Harris. You can just wait until the police get there, if you get a chance to call. Good luck.
Too funny
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January 05, 2013
Great, even more morons with guns...
red ryder
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January 05, 2013
A white male enters an elementary school armed with an AR 15 and two hand guns and is not confronted until he enters the media center and starts shooting. The librarian whips out her Glock 19 which holds 15 rounds and returns fire and kills the intruder.

In the melee, two students in the hall are shot, one severely wounded and one killed. Six students in the media center are wounded. The investigation finds that it was the bullets fired by the librarian that wounded and killed the children in the hall. The librarian suffers only cuts.

Question: Should the librarian be charged and if so with what charge?

Ali50
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January 05, 2013
I think you mean "Thank goodness we're in Georgia."
susan harris
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January 05, 2013
It would really be great if the newspaper published all the gun owners - Oops sorry we are in Georgia.
Pat Sullivan
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January 05, 2013
Hi Susan. I am one of those gun owners. Why do you want our names to be published? Would you like our addresses too? What information are you willing to publish about yourself? Have you had an abortion? Should we publish those names too? Mind your business and I will mind mine.
TIC
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January 07, 2013
@justwait

WRONG!!!!

Every gun that I own was registered at the time of sale.

My name address telephone # , weapon serial number etc. etc.

Only those weapons that are stolen or "lost" have no trail to follow to the owner.
anonymous
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January 07, 2013
Miss Harriett & Co
Why would you
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January 06, 2013
need to know that?
S. Webb
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January 06, 2013
So Susan...

Do you really think this action would actually cause these individuals embarrassment or shame? Legal bearers of firearms are a proud lot and think YOU are the one with the odd and naive viewpoints.

Here is a thought (since you are into publishing names)... Why don't YOU set an example for all of us UNWASHED Georgians and post a BIG sign in your front yard or take out a full page add in the MDJ announcing that there are no firearms in your own home because you believe them unnecessary. Then, publish your own name and address for all to see, since you are so proud, self-assured, and see no need for this type of personal protection for family, self, or personal property. You seem so certain and proud that you have no need for such EVIL. Advertise to ALL and roll the dice on who might see that sign or add.

If you are so adamantly opposed and confident that possessing firearms is unnecessary and evil, set an example and Walk the Walk.

God bless!

SoDUmb
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January 06, 2013
Why publish names of LAW ABIDING gun owners? It's the criminal's gun that kills. Do you REALLY think criminals register their guns and/or apply for permits?

Rights
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January 06, 2013
I have a right to own a gun, I am a law abiding citizen and have the right to protect myself!!!!!! You must be one of those obama lovers who voted for the SORRY excuse for a human.
proudvet
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January 05, 2013
Why is it anyone else's business? Should we also publish the names of all Xbox and Wii owners too?

Publishing those names is just inviting the thieves into the homes of those without guns and those looking to steal guns into the homes of those with guns.

Everyone is entitled to personal privacy regardless of the state.
Just Wait
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January 05, 2013
Georgia does not register owning guns, only having a permit to carry one.
Pat Sullivan
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January 05, 2013
And one more thing for you to know Susan. In Georgia, like many states, you do not need a weapons permit to buy, own, or transport a gun or a whole bunch of guns. So if the weapon permit information was published you still couldn't be sure who the gun owners were. Maybe someone in your own family owns one. God forbid.
Pastor Bobby
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January 13, 2013
If there would have been a gun locked in a drawer in the office of the school. Also a gun safe in every classroom that could only be opened from the office by a push of a button those children could have been spared. You will never ever remove the evil from our country. But we can put qualified people in our schools to protect our children. I have a concealed permit and I am a gun owner. If it would have been my son in Ct 6 years old I would have done everything humanly possible to protect him. We have armed guards in our banks in this country. Is money more important than our children. Come on for God sake wake up
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