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Published April 05, 2012, 10:20 AM

Firearm permits rise with ND's booming oil patch

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say the number of people authorized to pack a weapon for self-defense in North Dakota is soaring.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say the number of people authorized to pack a weapon for self-defense in North Dakota is soaring.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN'-juhm) says his office has been getting up to 300 applications daily from people wanting a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He says most are coming from counties within the oil patch and many of the inquiries are from women.

The number of concealed carry permits has more than tripled in the past decade, to more than 16,000. Bureau of Criminal Investigation records show the agency processed 5,487 concealed carry permits in 2011 alone, up 40 percent from the year before.

Williams and Ward counties in western North Dakota had 1,305 concealed weapons permits issued last year, or about 50 more than in Burleigh and Cass counties.

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