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The commercial courses allow applicants to seek a permit from Virginia that is valid in their state, but without having to meet tougher requirements their home states may impose, such as firing a gun with an instructor.

Virginia State Police issued 1,632 concealed-carry permits to nonresidents through the first half of 2012, topping the previous year’s total of 1,321 nonresident permits. There was no corresponding increase in demand for resident permits, with just under half the previous year’s number reached by mid-2012.

“The statute was amended to require the commonwealth to accept certificates issued online as proof of competency, and that’s when the increase started,” said Donna Tate, manager of the state police Firearms Transaction Center.

Read the rest of the Associated Press report at the Washington Post.

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