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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – While politicians debate if stronger gun laws and background checks are in order, lines are forming at area pistol permit locations.

More than 60 people showed up in one day to get their pistol permits this week, overwhelming the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office.

The lines have been long, and phones have been ringing off the hook.  Since the beginning of December, more than 500 people have requested conceal carry permits in Lauderdale County.

“It appears people are arming themselves left and right,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said.

The sheriff believes there is genuine concern about Second Amendment rights.  Singleton said residents seem to think those rights are eroding at the hands of politicians.

“People are not happy with that, and I think they intend to arm themselves,” explained Singleton. “It’s just a different world today.”

As far as gun control and background checks, Singleton said he doesn’t believe more laws will help. He said in all of his years in law enforcement, one thing rings true: Criminals will get guns no matter what.

“When good law-abiding citizens arm themselves, and the criminal element is aware of that, to me it will probably help curtail some crime,” Singleton said.

Officials expect the request for pistol permits to remain high for the foreseeable future.

It normally takes seven to 10 days to be approved for a pistol permit, which allows the gun owner to conceal carry. The cost for a typical one-year permit is $10.