about $75 in most counties. People are ineligible if they have had a felony
conviction or a recent drug or firearms conviction.
Officials of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which performs the background checks, said Wednesday they don't yet have data to indicate whether or not more Georgians are applying for licenses.
In Colorado, Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den in suburban Arvada, said requests for concealed-weapon training certification "are off the hook." His four-hour course in gun safety, required for certification for a concealed-weapons permit in Colorado, has drawn double the interest since Friday.
In the three days after the massacre, in-store background checks for gun purchases in Colorado jumped 25 percent above the average Friday-to-Sunday period for this year.
"What they're saying is: They want to have a chance. They want to have the ability to protect themselves and their families if they are in a situation like what happened in the movie theater," Rutan said.
The suspected Colorado shooter, James Holmes, is in solitary confinement at an Aurora, Colo., jail. He is due in court again Monday, when it is expected that authorities will formally charge him with multiple counts of murder.
Peppers, the Villa Rica woman who wanted a gun Wednesday, said she couldn't get the incident out of her head. She imagined she was there in the theater, ducking for cover, feeling "totally helpless."
"I'm praying for the people in Colorado, and I'm praying that nothing like that happens to me," she said.
Mike Liam, an accountant from Roswell, already owns a shotgun for home defense, but the movie shootings helped convince him that he needed protection in public. He purchased a Ruger LC9 handgun Wednesday for about $400 and a holster that fits inside his waistband. He's also applied for a permit to carry a weapon.
"I need to take other steps to be protected," said Liam, 27. "I need to make sure my family and myself are safe."
Nationally, the shootings have triggered a fierce debate over gun control and whether government has a role in reining in the ownership of firearms.
Gun sales often fluctuate based on news events, especially whenever people think the passage of more restrictive gun laws is imminent. Sales spiked following the election of President Barack Obama, when weapons enthusiasts expressed fear that the Democrat might curtail gun rights. FBI figures also show background checks for handgun sales jumped in Arizona following the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Carrying a gun in Georgia
You may legally store your firearm in your home, motor vehicle or place of business without holding a license.
If you use your gun for hunting or sporting, a current hunting license lets you carry it outside your own property.
If you do not have a current hunting license and intend to carry a gun outside your own property, you must apply for a license with your county probate court.
Licenses are available to legal residents over the age of 21 who provide proof of ID and pass a criminal background check. Persons are ineligible if they have:
--been convicted of a felony;
--been convicted of a drug misdemeanor or a violation of the state's firearms laws and did not complete all punishment at least five years previously;
--received inpatient treatment for substance abuse or mental illness within the previous five years.
Source: State of Georgia
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