Sheriff-patrolSheriff departments across Iowa are seeing an increase of gun permit requests. Some departments say it’s as much as 400 percent compared to the same period last year.

Black Hawk County Sheriffs Tony Thompson say that’s because January 2011 was the first time Iowans could obtain a five-year permit-to-carry and those permits are up for renewal.

“We anticipated the five-year — you know it’s kind of life a bald spot on a tire. Every five years you get this huge dump,”Thompson says. “So and we made some measures and some steps. We put our application online and contracted with a company to provide that service to our citizens. “

Sergeant Brandon Bracelin of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says by law, once an application is submitted a permit must be issued within 30 days. “We’re getting to a point where it’s becoming overwhelming. It’s taking a little longer to get those permits out. I think people are getting a frustrated with that,” Bracelin says. “And we just want to get the word out that we are doing everything we can. But instead getting them out within two or three weeks, we are up to a total of a month before we get those out.”

Data shows Polk County usually getting about 300 to 600 permit requests a month, but there were more than 1,400 permit-to-carry applications in December. Some sheriff offices also say some permit seekers cite recent mass shootings and concerns that federal actions might curtail gun ownership as reasons they are seeking a gun permit.

Thanks to Sarah Boden, Iowa Public Radio