PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - One Region 8 police department is having trouble keeping up with the demand for concealed carry classes. When the Paragould Police Department offers a class, it fills up quick.
"The last 3 or 4 classes that we've posted have filled up in three days," Captain Greg Trout with the Paragould Police Department told Region 8 News.
The department started offering the program back in the mid 1990's and they usually host one class a month and see a variety of people come in.
"Males and females. From retired folks to large business owners. Everybody wants to take a class right now," Trout said.
Trout said people give them a variety of reasons for wanting to come in to get their concealed carry license.
"Some of them are afraid that in a year or so they won't be able to get a permit to carry, some of them say that I've decided that it's time for me to do this," he said.
Trout said they also have people coming in who have never owned a gun before and decided that now was as good a time as any. Manager at DNW Outdoors in Jonesboro, Cody Driskell said they also see gun novices coming into the store
"I would say that 30% to 40% of the people who come in to buy handguns are first time buyers," Driskell said.
Driskell said they've been very busy recently with handgun sales.
"I mean, there were days when that's pretty much all we sold was handguns."
Driskell said October and November are busy months anyway for hunting season, but even as early as August, they seen an increase in people wanting to buy handguns.
"Whether they're just wanting to have it for around the house or if they're trying to get into it," Driskell explained.
Trout said with people wanting concealable handguns for a variety of reasons, they teach people everything from Arkansas laws on concealed carry licenses, to basic gun safety and handling to when they can put their concealed weapon to use.
"What you can do in different situations, what you can't do in certain situations... and what you can never do," Trout said.
The last concealed carry class that Paragould Police will be hosting will be on October 20th. That class is already full. If you missed your chance and still wish to attend one, you can contact BRTC in Paragould for a class they'll be having on November 3 at 8am. Trout said once someone takes a concealed carry class, they won't have to renew it for five years.