Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- In the midst of a gun control debate, concealed weapons permit applicants have increased nationwide.
Here in South Carolina, SLED received 24,661 first-time applications for a concealed weapons permit.
That number nearly tripled in 2012, climbing to 61,766 applications for a concealed weapons permit.
Alan J. Alexander, a concealed weapons instructor with Live For Another Day Firearms Training Institute has seen this increase even here in the Midlands.
"What we have seen is an increase in requests to our classes and it has been particularly interesting because of the increases that I have noticed have come in over the last couple of months," said Alexander.
The process to get a concealed weapons permit here in South Carolina does take some time according to Alexander.
Alexander said, "You have to meet federal regulations of owning a firearm, in South Carolina you have to be 21-years of age or older, SLED does the background investigation to clear people to carry and they have to be a resident of this state class or you have to be a property owner in South Carolina."
You also have to go through an 8-hour course, practice on the firing range, and you must submit two sets of fingerprints.
The process is long, but well worth it according to Alexander.
According to Alexander, "People have become more conscientious about the fact that they need to rely on home protection and self protection."
For more information on "Live For Another Day" Firearms Training Institute, LLC, you can visit their website at http://www.cwpconcealedweaponspermit.com/