Concealed Weapons Continue Increase in Florida

It is Woman's Wednesday at Wakulla County gun range. This week, there were two first-timers.

“There you go! Almost hit the bull’s eye that time, did you see that?”

“It’s to protect myself, learn to shoot it properly, the right way, and be safe,” said Shalia Chinnery who was visiting the gun range.

When asked how’d she liked it? Shalia responded, “It’s good. The gun has a lot of kick, so I’m trying to get used to steadying my hand.”

In Florida, 952 thousand people have a concealed weapons license. The state is expected to become the first with a million permits by the end of the year.

Since a high-profile murder here three years ago, more than 1500 people have come through this range for a concealed weapons permit.

Nearly a thousand people have paid a yearly fee to join the range since the death of Sunday school teacher Cheryl Dunlop.

“If it’s you or them, I’d rather it be them,” said gun range supervisor and instructor Freddie Bright.

What makes the range unique is that it’s owned and operated by the local sheriff.

“It’s the county’s range, and the citizens of the county should be able to use it,” said Lt. Fred Nichols.

Cathy Watson, who is also a first-time user, says what everyone using the range has in common is the desire to protect themselves.

“Things are just getting bad, and you just never know if you might end up having to use it,” said Watson.

Only half the range was in use by the women Wednesday, but by the weekend it will be full.

The fee for a first time concealed weapons license in Florida is $112.00.


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