The Morgan County Sheriff's Office has seen a huge increase in concealed carry applications compared to 2019.
The county moved its concealed carry permit application online last April. Since then, they've seen a 72.5% increase between 2020 and the year before.
"It's just for personal protection," said Decatur resident Clifton Jones.
Jones renewed his concealed carry permit for another four years Monday at the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, and he isn't alone. The county received more than 10,000 applications for a concealed carry permit just in 2020. In 2019, it was only 6,000.
"Based on all that 2020 had in it - from the pandemic, to shutdowns, to masks, social distancing, civil unrest across the country, and then a contentious election, each one of those things contributed to the increase that we saw," said Morgan County Sheriff Spokesperson Mike Swafford.
Swafford says the plan to move the process online was in the works well before COVID-19 was around. Having it available during the pandemic was an extra bonus.
"It's easy to get. Just keep your record clean, take care of your business, and be good," Jones said.
If you don't want to go online, you can still apply and renew in person at the sheriff's office. The cost is $20 per year.