The number of applications in Missoula County for concealed carry firearms permits in January of 2013 has tripled from those in January of 2012.

Missoula county sheriff's department spokesman Jason Johnson says six applications were received in the first twenty days of January, 2012, but there have been eighteen permit applications in the first twenty days of 2013.

Johnson says those who apply for and are granted a concealed carry permit must go through a thorough background check, including references from various agencies to ensure the applicant does not have a criminal record or a history of mental problems.

Johnson says those with an up-to-date concealed carry permit do not have to go through the waiting period when they purchase a firearm from a dealer.

Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Johnson