QUINCY —In 32 communities south of Boston a total of more than 29,700 people hold licenses to carry a gun.
But that doesn’t mean they all carry.
Mirroring a statewide trend, the number of people who hold Class A licenses to carry – the only one of four firearm-license types in Massachusetts that allows someone to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public – has increased steadily over the last two years in the region from Quincy south to Plymouth and west to Easton, according to data from the state’s Firearms Records Bureau.
Police officers in charge of granting permits, gun shop owners and advocates of Second Amendment rights say the increase is due to factors ranging from fear that gun laws will be tightened to increased interest in target shooting.
“I think there’s more of a concern now for well-being and safety,” said Eric Goldman, president of the Braintree Rifle and Pistol Club, where applications for membership have doubled recently. “Most people start by wanting to get a firearm for their house, and then they want to possibly carry it.”
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