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Gun Permit Applications Way Up In Suffolk County

YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Interest in gun ownership has seen a major jump in Suffolk County lately.

The number of new applications for pistol permits in Suffolk County went from 2,035 in 2011 to 2,606 in 2012, according to a Newsday report.

Suffolk County authorities said they had also issued 5,764 purchase documents for firearms in 2012, up from 5,043 in 2011.

Authorities said 749 purchase documents were issued in December 2012, and 947 in January of this year, the highest numbers in the 37 months of data they gave to Newsday.

As of Feb. 8, the Pistol Licensing Bureau of the Suffolk County police had 33,379 license holders with 96,783 regulated firearms. Some guns, like shotguns or rifles, don't require owners to have purchase documents.

Experts told the newspaper concern about new gun control laws was likely the reason many people have applied for gun permits.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the toughest gun control law in the nation and the first since the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Under prior state law, assault weapons are defined by having two "military rifle'' features spelled out in the law. The new law reduces that to one feature and include the popular pistol grip.

It also forces gun owners to renew their licenses every five years, stiffens penalties for using a gun in the commission of a crime and for bringing a gun on school property.

What are your thoughts on the trend in Suffolk County? Please leave your comments below...

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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