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Associated Press, Published February 17 2013

North Dakota concealed weapons permits jump 55 percent

BISMARCK — The number of concealed weapons permits and renewals in North Dakota in 2012 increased by 55 percent as residents clamor to get a license amid talk of gun control legislation.

In 2011, a total of 5,634 permits and renewals were issued statewide for concealed weapons. That included 114 issued to nonresidents. In 2012, the total rose to 12,614, of which 199 were issued to nonresidents, according to a story published Sunday in The Bismarck Tribune.

Gerard Zlotkowski is a certified concealed weapons instructor in McIntosh County, the chief deputy for the McIntosh County Sheriff's Department and a certified law enforcement firearms instructor.

He said people are “clamoring” to get a license before they might be unable to get one.

Zlotkowski teaches one class a month with about 10 people. Most of his students already own guns, he said.

North Dakota issues two classes of concealed weapons permits: Class 1 licenses require a shooting proficiency test and a written test. The only requirement to obtain a Class 2 permit is to correctly answer all questions in an open-book test.

Class 1 permits also have reciprocity in more states than do Class 2 permits.

Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert said the number of requests for concealed weapons has meant more work for his department because applicants must undergo a background check before Heinert can sign off on the application.

“It's increased the workload substantially,” Heinert said.