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Number of Gun Owners on the Rise in Ocean City

The Ocean City numbers are part of a statewide trend.

The number of Ocean City residents applying for the Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) required to buy a gun in New Jersey has increased by 45 percent since 2012 and by 155 percent in the last five years.

As some lawmakers call for stricter gun control laws amid a surge of deadly shootings in the news, many Ocean City residents are planning to buy weapons.

The Ocean City Police Department reports the following totals for firearms ID applications:

  • 2013: 102
  • 2012: 70
  • 2011: 50
  • 2010: 39
  • 2009: 40
The numbers in Ocean City reflect a statewide trend.

"Permits to buy handguns in New Jersey — which has some of the strictest firearms laws in the U.S. — increased by 67 percent through June compared with the same period in 2012, according to data provided by the State Police," the Wall Street Journal ("New Jersey Is Packing") reported in September 2013.

Ocean City Police Capt. Steve Ang attributes some of the increase to a fear that gun control laws will tighten — some people may want to purchase guns before the laws change. He also said that the number of female applicants has increased substantially.

In New Jersey, a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) is required to buy a handgun, a hunting rifle or any other firearm. Separate handgun permits are also required. With background checks and fingerprinting required, the application process can take as long as three to six months.

Ang said the department encourages any potential owner to complete a firearms safety course to learn how to handle and store guns.

The increase in gun ownership has not been accompanied by any increase in gun crimes in Ocean City.

While Ocean City police have confiscated illegal weapons in investigations, it has been several years since police have responded to an incident involving a loaded weapon, Ang said.

Oceancity Resident January 15, 2014 at 06:45 AM
Crime in surrounding communities is probably what is driving people to arm themselves. When you read of the things happening in AC, Pleasantville, EHT and Somers Point you can't help but feel somewhat unsafe. Personally, I'd like to see concealed carry made legal because it is clear that when seconds count the police are minutes or tens of minutes away.
Rick Eufrasio January 15, 2014 at 07:02 AM
Any gun owner or future gun owner, please train in the safe handling, use, and storage of your weapon. Also, please, get involved or support those involved, in the protection of your pre existing, Second Amendment protected right of self defense. Locally, the New Jersey Second Amendment Society is the most effective. Check them out at nj2as.com .
Captain Joel S. Fogel January 15, 2014 at 05:25 PM
The police are the first to admit that they cannot be everywhere. But if you are going to buy and own a handgun, it will be attached to you for life. It is a great responsibility that never rests. Learn to use it safely, how to store it and make sure that it is never stolen.
Kathy O'Connor January 16, 2014 at 03:06 PM
And make sure your teenagers, young adults, children cannot get to your gun As a matter of fact, make sure you can't get to your gun if you have a fight with your spouse or your neighbor. Maybe just don't have a gun.

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