OSBI working extra to process increased requests for concealed handguns
BY CHASE COOK World Staff Writer
Friday, July 27, 2012
Oklahoma law enforcement officials have fielded the most requests for concealed handgun licenses since they began processing the license in fiscal year 1996.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation processed 34,740 initial and renewal requests for concealed carry licenses in fiscal year 2012. The requests for the licenses increased near the end of the fiscal year, according to OSBI data. In late June, OSBI was processing the requests slower than the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act allows.
The act gives OSBI 90 days to process license requests and 60 days to process requests that have no issues after a background check. OSBI is averaging a processing time of about 94 days since late June, said Felicia Jackson, licensing and special services section manager.
OSBI is hiring temporary and permanent employees and setting up an evening shift from 4 p.m. to about 12:30 a.m. to process requests in a timely fashion in accordance with the law, Jackson said.
"We are working on getting it back there," Jackson said. "We appreciate people's patience and understanding."
OSBI doesn’t monitor gun sales or ask why citizens are requesting licences, but the office is preparing for a potential increase in license requests throughout the year after there were reports of increased gun sales after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., Jackson said. Increased gun sales may mean citizens will be looking to get a conceal carry license, she said.
Increased gun sales may mean citizens will be looking to get a conceal carry license, she said.
Curtis Leos, Tulsa Firearms salesman and marksmanship trainer, said about half of the calls and people entering his store have been requests for concealed handgun licenses. Tulsa Firearms holds a class that is required for the license and also helps with paperwork, Leos said.
The increase in interest happened after the Colorado shooting, he said.
"It's more than unusual. I think that's a good thing," Leos said. "I think that people need to be responsible for themselves."
Read more in Saturday's Tulsa World