New Orleans Residents Are Arming Themselves In Nation's Murder Capital

New Orleans (AP) -- People in New Orleans appear to be worried about more than just another hurricane.

The number of permits issued to carry concealed weapons in New Orleans is now running twice as high as it was before Katrina. This, in a city with only about half of its pre-storm population of 450,000.

Gun dealers say sales are still brisk, and that the customers have included doctors, lawyers, artists and stay-at-home moms.

There were 162 killings in 2006 and there have been 37 so far this year. In neighboring Jefferson Parish, the sheriff has sent armored vehicles to protect high-crime neighborhoods.

A Tulane University study put the city's 2006 homicide rate at 96 slayings per 100,000 people, the highest in the nation.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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