SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Hundreds of people are applying for concealed weapons permits in Sacramento County after another round of budget cuts forced law enforcement agencies to cut more officers from active duty this year.

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The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Departments said they understand why residents are moving to arm themselves and are approving more permit applications to keep up with the demand. Of more than 1,000 people applying for a Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit this year, 90 to 95 percent have been approved.

“People recognize the fact that self-defense is good,” said Deputy Jason Ramos. “That’s something our department supports.”

All applicants have to undergo training to qualify for a CCW permit. Companies that provide such instruction, such as California Security Training Academy, have seen an increase in applicants, according to founder Steve Caballero.

“Our training is two days. A very intensive training,” he said.

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Caballero said more women are signing up for the instruction, and the Sacramento Sheriff’s department said a higher number of permits are being issued to women.

“They usually put the handgun in their purse, and we talk to them about how you’re going to get it out if you need it,” Caballero said.

Real estate agent Karen Burt said she now carries a .38-caliber Ruger to keep herself safe on the job.

“I’m in a lot of empty houses,” Burt said, noting that many homes for sale can attract squatters, especially in towns like Stockton that have been plagued with violence.

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Applying for a CCW requires an extensive background check, authorities said. The backlog on applications is so long that residents who apply now may not be approved until next March or April.