In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, President Barack Obama has made several new proposals for increased gun control.
That got us thinking. How many Marblehead residents have a gun license?
The answer: 849, if you're talking about the most common type of gun license. In bureaucratic-speak, that's the "Resident Class A Large Capacity License to Carry Firearms." According to the Globe, it's the only Massachusetts license that lets individuals carry a concealed weapon and own any type of legal gun.
To put that 849 person figure in context, Marblehead's population is 19,808 according to the 2010 Census. That means about 4 percent of Headers have the most common type of gun license.
Since 2008, the number of people with a gun license in town has risen 29 percent. The single biggest jump came between 2008 and 2009 when there was a nationwide spike in gun permits sought. Some attributed that to fears Obama would restrict gun rights. But according to the Globe, the economic downtown may also have played a role in the increase, as people worried about their personal safety.
Here is a chart of active "Class A" gun license holders in Marblehead since 2008, according to the State Office of Public Safety.2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Trend (08 to 12) Class A Licenses 660 741 791 826 849 Up 29 percent
Among other types of licenses, numbers held pretty steady across that span. Active "Class B" licenses, which are for small-capacity guns, actually fell 12 percent over the period.
And here's something you might not know: There are eight people in Marblehead licensed to own a machine gun. That number has also remained steady since 2008.
If you are interested in getting a gun permit, you must make an appointment with Marblehead Police.