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 Swampscott residents have a gun license?
The answer: 593, 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 593 person figure in context, Swampscott's population is 13,787 according to the 2010 Census. That means about 4.3 percent of Swampscott residents have the most common type of gun license.
Since 2008, the number of people with a gun license in town has risen by 161 people. The single biggest increase came between 2011 and 2012, when an additional 59 people got licenses.
The second largest spike 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 Swampscott since 2008, according to the State Office of Public Safety.2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Trend (08 to 12) Class A Licenses 432 478 506 534 593 Up by 161 people
And here's something you might not know: There are two people in Swampscott licensed to own a machine gun.
If you are interested in getting a gun permit, you must make an appointment with Swampscott police.