In the past, people who were seeking concealed weapons permits would have to wait three to four weeks after applying before being approved for one.
Now for those with access to a computer, that wait will likely be much shorter, said Daryl Hicks, deputy clerk at the Marion County Tax Collector’s Office.
That’s because Marion County, along with 12 other tax collectors’ offices, is expanding its concealed weapons license service by allowing people to sign applications by computer and mailing them in electronically, as opposed to mailing applications to specific sites.
Adam H. Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, and Dennis W. Hollingsworth, St. Johns County Tax Collector, recently announced the changes. Hicks said the program increases efficiency and security for those interested in applying for or renewing a concealed weapon license.
Marion County adopted the voluntary governmental program and began offering the service on April 17. The new Concealed Weapon License Service solidifies the screening and interview process before sending the application to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Tallahassee.
“There was sometimes a three, four week wait until they could actually get a permit,” Hicks said. “Here, they come in, they’re in and out in 25 minutes.“Their application is secure, it’s [sent to] Tallahassee, and probably saves them some time.”
In addition, the department will expedite all applications submitted by active military members and veterans, he said.
“Some of these military people are getting their concealed weapon permit within 30 days,” Hicks said. “Which is a third of the time people are required to get it.”
Juanita Smith, a Marion County resident, lauded the state’s decision. She said it is a great way to arm those who want to legally obtain a gun, especially those who served in the military.
“If they can carry a gun in the military, they should be able to carry one on the outside,” Smith said. “They defend the country; they should be able to defend themselves.”