The amount of concealed carry permits issued in the state of Kentucky has surged over the past couple of years.

According to the, the Kentucky State Police said that there were 59,300 permits issued in 2013. In 2012, there were 27,462 concealed carry licenses issued. The lowest number of permits issued in one year over the past decade is 7,791 in 2005. In all, roughly 300,000 permits have been granted since the concealed carry law went into effect in 1996.

Chance Clanahan, the manager for Paducah Shooter’s Supply — where residents can take concealed carry classes — told he thinks one of the reasons for the increase in permits is fear.

“I think a lot of people are just scared,” he said.

Clanahan added that more and more people are becoming interested in concealed carry for personal protection and self-defense.

“People are realizing it’s a dangerous world,” he said. “Police can respond to an incident, … but ultimately, the first few minutes of something happening, you’ve got to handle it yourself. I think people are recognizing that.”

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