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Florida Gun Laws: First State To Surpass One Million Concealed Weapon Permits

07/26/2012 11:04 am 11:04:13 | Updated Jul 27, 2012

In the aftermath of the Colorado movie theater massacre, background checks for concealed weapons permits spiked 14 percent in Florida -- that's 2,386 in the week since James Holmes allegedly shot and killed 12 moviegoers at an Aurora screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."

And while the sudden uptick in firearm sales is occurring nationwide, Florida's surge brings us that much closer to another alarming threshold: being the first state to surpass one million concealed weapons permits.

The state currently has about 950,000 citizens with concealed weapons permits and that total is increasing by 15,000 every month, according to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Although one in every 17 Floridians already has a license to carry a hidden firearm, state officials have recently made it even easier for residents to arm themselves.

Effective July 1, a new state law lowered the cost for a concealed weapons permit from $85 to $70, and a renewal license from $70 to $60.

So which Florida county is the most armed?

Broward County follows close behind with 74,439 concealed weapon permit holders and Palm Beach County comes in third with 60,315 permits.

"If somebody would have had a concealed weapon sitting in that front row this might not have been as bad as it was," Florida gun advocate, Max Franklin told Action Jax News, referring the "Dark Knight" shooting.

But it also means that Holmes, who had no criminal record and no cited history of mental illness, would have passed on Florida's 4473 form, used to approved individuals seeking gun permits.

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