Kentucky's significant increase in the number of concealed-carry permits issued over recent years has been keeping local gun instructors busy.
Some are not too busy, however, to make house calls.
One unique location that concealed-carry instructor John Driskill has taught class was at a church. He also will visit homes, and he teaches out of his home in Livingston County and at a shooting range in McCracken County. He tries to be flexible with clients, but his versatility in location offerings is needed to keep up with the local competition and demand for classes.
About 300,000 concealed-carry licenses have been issued in Kentucky since the state's concealed-carry law was enacted in 1996.
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In 2013, more than double the amount of permits granted during any previous year were issued to Kentuckians.
Information from the Kentucky State Police shows that there were 59,300 permits issued in 2013. The lowest number of permits issued in one year during the past decade was 7,791 in 2005. That number gradually rose to 27,462 in 2012, which then more than doubled in 2013.
As those figures have increased, more people have become certified to teach classes, and the number of class locations in Driskill's region has risen. Yet despite a growth in competition, he is seeing more students. Sometimes he teaches classes of as many as 25 people.
"We're all competitors, but we work together pretty good," he said.
Paducah Shooters Supply has offered classes since the concealed-carry law was enacted in 1996. The business also hosts concealed-carry courses for Illinois permit seekers.
Chance Clanahan, Paducah Shooters Supply manager, called the increase in concealed-carry permit applicants in Kentucky from about 27,000 in 2012 to nearly 60,000 in 2013 an "explosion."
Clanahan said he thinks the biggest reason behind the increase is fear.
"I think a lot of people are just scared," he said.
Clanahan said the business is seeing a lot of first-time gun users take the course, including women in their 80s who want a firearm for protection.
Driskill also said the biggest reason he's seeing more customers is a desire for protection.
"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."
Driskill said he isn't sure why permits more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, but a few years earlier, he said, the nationwide fear that people faced gun restrictions had more people signing up for permits.
"In years past, especially when the Obama administration came into office, there was a lot of panic as far as getting weapons. A lot of people were concerned about getting licenses because they wouldn't be able to in the future," he said.
The course Kentuckians must take to apply for a permit is eight hours long, which Driskill said he doesn't think is enough time for new gun users to learn how to effectively use a firearm safely, but the class provides minimal training and emphasizes safety.
"Courses are just as much about when not to use force as how to use a gun," he said.
Clanahan echoed the same sentiment. He said an eight-hour course doesn't necessarily prepare a first-time gun user for self-defense.
"Concealed carry classes go a long way in teaching you the law, but they don't teach you defensive shooting or more or less self-defense. I think it's a good beginning," he said.
Clanahan said one-on-one classes are more suitable for beginners, and additional self-defense classes are useful in learning when not to use a gun.
"There's a lot of things you can do to avoid using your gun if at all possible," he said.