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In wake of recent mass shootings, some are choosing to get concealed carry permits

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – It’s been less than two weeks since the most recent mass shootings in America.  

The two shootings, first in El Paso, Texas, and the second, in Dayton, Ohio – both occurred within 14 hours of one another.

Because it could happen at any time or anywhere, people are afraid and considering safety precautions they’ve never had to think about before.

“A mass shooting does trigger a little more on the back of your head – like what about if I am carrying it on me?” says Antonio Silva, a concealed carry course attendee. “Can I stop it? Can I prevent that to happen?”

“Definitely the mass shootings was like the straw that broke the camel’s back,” says Kamiel Sumsion, another concealed carry course attendee. “Even when you think you’re the most safe, you just never know what could happen and it’s good to always be prepared for the most terrible situation.”

Silva and Sumsion are two of 71 people attending the Armed Self Defense Institute’s concealed carry permit course, learning about firearm safety and getting fingerprinted.

Teaching students about the proper use of guns, owner of ASDI Spencer Rands, says in the wake of a mass shooting, he sees more attendees than normal wanting to get their concealed carry permit.  

“They’ll be an increase of people,” Rands says. “And I don’t think it’s an increase in people wanting it, but they start to think about it.”

Rands says by people having a permit, it allows a person to concealed carry in public or private and to use if necessary.

“If you were to find yourself in a situation where you were being attacked – whether it be a mass shooting or just a mugging or anything like that where your life is in danger,” Rands says, “then you’d be able to respond to it well before the police ever arrived.”

Of those in Utah who have a permit, 78 percent are men and 22 percent are women, according to the Utah bureau of criminal identification.

While there are fewer women with permits, Rands says over the last couple of years he’s seen a small increase of women taking his classes.

Regarding firearms, Rands reminds the public:

“It’s important that we’re always safe, we’re making sure we’re handling our firearms safely, that we’re storing them safely, that we’re keeping them away from children,” Rands says.

To sign up for an ASDI concealed carry class, click here.

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