EUGENE, Ore. - Lane County residents purchased over 2,000 concealed weapons permits from the sheriff's office in 2012, the largest number ever issued in a single year.
Of those, 330 were sold in December after deadly shootings at a Portland-area mall and a Connecticut elementary school.
Gun sales have surged locally and nationwide, too, as citizens either arm themselves for self-defense or buy up guns they fear could be banned in the future.
"We have seen a huge increase in demand as far as classes, not only with handgun classes," said Donovan Beard, a defensive firearms safety instructor.
Sgt. Carrie Carver with the Lane County Sheriff's Office said the increase of concealed weapons permits in Lane County isn't as scary as the decrease in deputies out on the streets.
"Certainly the lack of deputy sheriffs on the road, based bn the size and population of Lane County, is extremely concerning," she said. "It's downright dangerous is what it is."
Carver said deputies are only able to respond to crimes in progress, and even then it might take them a half hour to arrive on scene.
That's too long in a life or death situation, Donovan said.
"Trust me when I say as a Marine combat vet," he told KVAL News, "30 minutes is a long time to wait for someone when seconds count."