HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — Just last year, Maryland State Police reported over 85,000 applications for a concealed carry gun permit. With this many applications being submitted, some had concerns for people’s safety.

Several Maryland residents say they are on the fence about if this is positive or negative.

“It makes me a little bit more afraid,” Hagerstown resident Gabriel Dodd said.

The Maryland State Police reported that between June and December of last year, they received over 79,000 applications — compared to over 12,000 in 2021. This number is drawing mixed reactions from the public.

“It’s an issue for me that there are more people that desire to have guns. However, to have them registered and to have a permit for it, I think is the right way to go about it because I’d rather have that than a bunch of illegal weapons out and about,” Dodd explained.

A list of qualifications is on the Maryland State Police website for people seeking a permit.

Hagerstown resident David King has his permit and said he’s not concerned about the increase in applications — he feels the permit process is still strict and thorough.

“The process for that is there is a federal and state background check, as well as a mandatory class that you have to take and the fees that you pay are determined for those that aren’t qualified to carry for the right reasons,” King said.

Currently, Maryland ranks seventh in the nation in regard to stringent gun laws.