Pittsylvania Co., VA - We've heard much debate about gun laws in the last few years, but in Pittsylvania County folks are utilizing their 2nd amendment rights like never before.
The Circuit Court clerk says there has been a steady increase in the number of concealed carry permits issued - with more than 1,700 in 2013 alone.
Robin Dalton has owned a concealed carry permit for years. For folks like her, it's all about security.
"You never know what you're going to run into, " Dalton said.
Dalton says in today's world, many people find a sense of comfort in the extra protection.
"With so much going on in the news now, and you hear so many awful things, I think people feel safer," Dalton said.
Pittsylvania County Court Clerk H.F. Haymore has issued more and more permits in the last 5 years - with last year being the peak.
Both Danville and Lynchburg also saw 50% increases from 2012 to 2013.
"There's a lot of people that feel like the powers that be in Washington are going to do something with the second amendment, " Haymore said, but just having a permit is not enough.
Sheriff Mike Taylor says there is a certain responsibility that comes with it.
"You have to keep up with the laws are. Where you can carry them, when you can carry them, " said Taylor.
Businesses, churches, and other establishments can make their own policy about weapons on the property.
Taylor says he supports the right to carry, but he wants permit holders to take their decision seriously.
"If you draw that firearm, you are going to have to make hundreds of split second decisions that you have to live with, " said Taylor.
To get a permit, folks have to fill out on application, take a handgun safety course, and pass a background check.
The Code of Virginia describes the specific restrictions that apply to conceal carry permits.