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But while there may be some "knee jerk reaction" to events such as the Arizona shootings, such things are "fairly short lived" when it comes to most applicants' motivations, he said.

The inherent restrictions in getting a license tend to weed out criminals and others who would choose to use the weapons for nefarious ends, he said.

The additional interest required the DPS to hire additional help to assist in processing a tremendous influx of applications, he recalled.

Price, who taught Arledge's class, agreed that interest in concealed carry licenses was up.

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David Varner, who is an Abilene police officer in addition to a firearms instructor, said he has seen a recent increase in calls and questions about his concealed carry classes, driven perhaps in part by recent "active shooter" events.

"It's been successful," he said of the offering, though the classes teach the same lessons no matter what Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Grey their makeup, including the imperative Omega Seamaster Gold Bezel

While he hasn't noted a great influx Omega Seamaster 300m Wrist Shot

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"Personally, I think it's just women who are concerned about their safety," he said of those who take the class.

Arizona at times enter the discussion.

of additional women taking classes, he does, Price said, offer ladies only courses to present topics related to carrying a concealed handgun in a non intimidating way.

Texas allows most people to acquire a license to carry a concealed handgun, with certain strict eligibility requirements.

Though things naturally slow down during the holiday season, Herd said interest in concealed carry licenses of late was "more brisk than ever."

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According to DPS records, between Sept. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2010, the most recent reporting period available, 726 people applied for a concealed carry license in Taylor County, accounting for only 0.62 percent of all applications in the state.

"But I, as well, thought it was important to have the option for my own self protection," she said of the concealed carry course she took, an all woman class taught by instructor Dale Price.

Worries about individual rights, as well as a dawning understanding by many that law enforcement officials can't be "everywhere, everyplace" were at the heart of the influx, he said.

At first, the classes were pretty much all men, Varner said.

to avoid actual gunplay if at all possible.

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But more women are now regularly taking the courses.

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Instead, prospective class members tend to mention fears of domestic terrorism or a simple desire to defend themselves, he said.

Since they started offering courses, Varner and fellow Abilene police officer Mark Watson have taught a vast array of people, he said, from 18 year olds in the military (an exception to the 21 and up rule) to individuals around 80.

That would include a recent attack in Arizona that left six people dead and Giffords seriously wounded.

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When Angie Arledge, 27, of Winters decided to take a handgun class around Halloween last year, her choice was influenced in part by her husband, who already has a concealed carry license.

But a person may choose to take a class, he said, for a variety of reasons, ranging from where they live to what they do for a living to people who simply want what Varner termed the "comfort of having a firearm" handy in case of an emergency situation.

The Texas Department of Public Safety certifies instructors and conducts background work on applicants for the state of Texas, said senior DPS Trooper Sparky Dean.

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Instructor Mike Herd recalled the period around the 2008 presidential election saw heavy interest in licenses because of what he termed the "Obama phenomenon."

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In general, those who teach concealed handgun courses in Taylor County say personal protection is the primary reason someone seeks the license, though the current political climate and even recent tragedies such as the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Omega Speedmaster 3511.50

Herd, who estimated he has taught concealed carry classes to more than 1,000 applicants, said his class sizes can range from a single person to 15 to 20.

´╗┐Concealed carry courses popular in Taylor County

Applicants, for example, must have lived in the state for six months before applying, be 21 years old and cannot have been convicted of a felony, among numerous other provisions.

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