DPS Moves Conceal And Carry Applications To The Web

The state wants to cut down on the time it takes for people to get their concealed handgun permits. Starting tomorrow, the Department of Public Safety will begin accepting requests online, as David Pitman reports.

The DPS started looking for ways to speed up the concealed handgun permit process, after what happened in the months following President Obama's election.

The department's Tela Mange says during that time, the agency experienced an unprecedented surge in the number of applications.

"Subsequently, we were overwhelmed, and not able to issue a lot of licenses within the 60 day period that is required by law."

Mange says moving the conceal and carry permit applications online will cut down on one of the major sources of delays — information that people left off their paper forms, or forms that came back unsigned. 

"With the application online, they can't leave without, y'know, filling out every single thing they have to fill out.   There are still things they have to mail in during the process.  But the vast majority of the process will occur online."

As part of the process, applicants will have to schedule an appointment to take a digital scan of their fingerprints. Mange says those scans have been proven to be far more accurate than the ink pad.   Documents proving citizenship will have to be mailed in, and the DPS says it will conduct the same criminal background check as it has up to this point.   The change to online applications is expected to save the DPS time and money.  But Mange says it's not known exactly how sooner would-be conceal and carry applicants might get an answer.

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David Pitman

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The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...