LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - With the shooting in Newtown and the president's recent attempts to put an end to gun violence, demand at a local fingerprinting location has skyrocketed.
"It's just been unbelievably busier than we have, I have, ever seen it," explained Sue Zwyers.
Zwyers owns Sue and Associates, a medical examination business which also provides fingerprinting for the state. She said, normally, teachers and people working in child care or at financial institutions come in to get their fingerprints scanned. Lately, the clientele is mostly made up of people wanting a gun permit, which also requires fingerprinting. So Zwyers and the state were forced to take action.
"People have contacted us to increase our hours to help make up for the surge that we have had," Zwyers said.
Zwyers said the state is expecting the surge to last six to eight months. She said the demand for permits always increases throughout the holidays but this year was unusually busy. She traces it to the Newtown school shooting along with President Barack Obama's recent efforts to stop gun violence.
"I believe that has just really convinced some people who were on the fence of whether they wanted a gun permit or not. This kind of pushed them off to the side and made them decide that they needed to do, that they wanted to do that," Zwyers said.
If people do decide they want to get a gun permit, there's more to the process than just getting their fingerprints scanned. Sgt. Kim Riley with the Indiana State Police said people must first start with their local law enforcement agency.
"If you live in Lafayette or West Lafayette, you go to the chief of police and get the form from them and there's certain fees that they require. If you live out in the county, you go to the sheriff's department and get the application. You can actually go online now with the state of Indiana and apply for a license that way," Riley explained.
Then you must get your fingerprints scanned. Riley said the the law enforcement agencies will use the prints to run background checks. But if you've had a problem in the past, don't expect a gun permit.
"A person is not eligible to get a firearms permit if they've had a Class A or a Class B felony against them or of they've committed a crime, which is a felony, where a gun was used in the process of the crime," said Riley.
Riley said once you have a gun permit, it's still illegal to carry that gun on school property or at the airport.
As for Zwyers, her best advice is to make sure you have the proper paperwork filled out before going to get your fingerprints scanned.
"That will also allow them to set an appointment and then that day, that appointment list is pushed to us so we really don't know who's on there until that day," said Zwyers.
She said the state controls the process, she's just trying to keep up with the demand.
If you would like to learn more on how to apply for a gun permit, click here .
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