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Connecticut gun permits increase 73 percent in 2016

MIDDLETOWN — Gun enthusiasts in Connecticut believe concerns over changes to federal and state gun laws fueled a 73 percent increase in the number of pistol permits issued in the state last year.

The Bulletin of Norwich reported Saturday that state police issued nearly 30,000 new pistol permits in 2016, up from just over 17,000 in 2015.

Gun owners told the newspaper they believe reasons for the spike included worries that Democrat Hilary Clinton would be elected president and press for more gun control, and that Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy would seek more gun restrictions.

Pistol permits also increased in 2013, after Democrat Barack Obama was re-elected as president. Permits jumped to nearly 26,700 in 2013, up from about 17,500 in 2012. About 18,000 new permits were issued in 2014.