ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — Gun permits are on the rise in the Greater Hartford area, along with the crime. In Rocky Hill, police told News 8 Thursday their gun permit numbers have more than doubled.

Police departments in the Greater Hartford area have been very busy lately. In Rocky Hill over the last two years, they have seen the number of people coming through the door to get their gun permit double. They’re getting fingerprinted and doing the background checks but they’re getting the permits done as quickly as possible.

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Gabe Cabrera of Rocky Hill told News 8, “Folks are thinking about taking things into their own hands because it’s the only form of protection one could have if you have experienced a home invasion as I have.”

Cabrera says he had a car stolen out of his garage in January and six months later he caught thieves on camera, again trying to break into his house. Both times in broad daylight. “2:30 in the afternoon, a neighbor next-door cutting the grass and the lawn tractor, the neighbor across the street on her lawn tractor cutting the grass, and they still attempted robbery.”

And there has been some spirited debate about whether or not crime is actually up. You can use the numbers however you want: is that violent crime? is that property crime? But the people in the neighborhood say they are seeing people coming into their homes, into their garages and that is the kind of crime that has them scared.

“And in my neighborhood, our neighbors are very alarmed about what’s going on and they are not only very concerned for their own safety but the safety of their families,” Cabrera added.

Deputy Mayor Ed Charamut of Rocky Hill told News 8 of the uptick in gun permit applications, “Couples have been coming together, so instead of maybe 15 people, it might be 20 couples around a table getting their permits all at the same time.”

The number of gun permits applications is going up in several parts of the Greater Hartford area. Wethersfield said they have had a 100% increase, as well. 

Glastonbury

  • 2019-224
  • 2020-635
  • 2021-320 so far

Rocky Hill

  • 2019-90
  • 2020-200
  • 2021 more than 200

Mayor Lisa Marotta of Rocky Hill said the broad daylight carjackings from the post office or local bakery and the abduction from the supermarket have people scared.

“There was an older woman in town who was talking about getting a gun permit, and she said she actually has a knife beside her bed and ended up cutting herself recently not badly, but that is what we have gotten to,” Mayor Marotta recalled.

The one thing the police department and the mayor caution about: once you get your permit, you have to know everything that goes with that. Officials recommend taking a gun course that goes with the permit and the safety course on how to use the firearm correctly.