Sales of handguns in Illinois are surging as a result of the state’s new concealed carry law.

As the Northwest Herald reports, the local spike in sales is part of a growing national trend. A recent report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives shows that the number of firearms manufactured in the United States increased from 4.49 million in 2008 to 8.57 million in 2012.

Manufacturers are trying to keep up with the demand. Colt wants to increase handgun production by 50 percent, while Smith & Wesson handgun sales shot up by almost a third at the end of last year.

In Illinois, the increase in handgun sales can be attributed to the concealed carry law.

“Illinois has more gun rights than it did six months ago,” Marengo Guns owner Dominic DeBock said. “That’s reassuring people.”

According to the Herald, there are roughly 60,500 Illinois residents who have a concealed carry license since the Illinois State Police started accepting applications on Jan. 5. In McHenry County alone, about 1,870 residents now have a concealed carry license, an increase from 822 applicants in January.

Nationwide, handgun sales also increased immediately after the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. In addition the concealed carry law, the gun debate is also helping drive sales.

“We are seeing a lot more new customers, a lot of people who were on the fence before,” said Bill Preskar, owner of HP Shooting Center in McHenry. “When you tell people you can’t have something, then all of the sudden they want it.”

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