Oklahoma faces heavy backlog of concealed-carry applications
BY CHASE COOK World Staff Writer
Saturday, July 28, 2012
10/15/12 at 4:52 PM
Read the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.
Download a concealed-carry application.
Oklahoma law enforcement officials are already beyond the time limit set in state law for processing concealed-carry licenses, and they anticipate even more requests as a result of an upcoming change to allow the open carry of weapons.
Reaction to the mass shootings in Colorado last week is also contributing to the expectation of an increase in applications.
The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act gives the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation 60 days to process applications of people with clean background checks and 90 days if the background check raises flags. But the OSBI's processing time for all requests has been averaging about 94 days since late June, said Felicia Jackson, Licensing and Special Services Section manager.
The OSBI processed 34,740 requests for concealed-carry licenses in fiscal year 2012, which ended in June. That's an increase of about 48 percent from the previous fiscal year.
The OSBI is hiring temporary and permanent employees and setting up an evening shift to process requests in a timely fashion in accordance with the law, Jackson said.
"We are working on getting it back there," she said. In the meantime, "we appreciate people's patience and understanding."
Information Services Division Director David Page said the OSBI has been working since May to add staff to process the requests as quickly as possible. Employees in other divisions are also helping, he said.
The OSBI doesn't monitor gun sales or ask why applicants are requesting licenses, but the office is preparing for a potential increase in requests based on reports of increased gun sales after the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last week, Jackson said. Increased gun sales may mean more people will be applying for concealed-carry licenses, she said.
Curtis Leos, a salesman and marksmanship trainer at Tulsa Firearms, said about half of the calls and visits to his business lately have been requests for concealed-handgun licenses. The increase in interest occurred after the Colorado shootings, 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."
More people are also expected to apply for the licenses as a result of a recent change in the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act. As of Nov. 1, anyone with a concealed-carry license will also be able to carry a weapon openly.
Concealed handgun applications:
Source: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
To get a license
The sheriff's office must:
- Pass an 8-hour course that teaches them concealed-carry law and tests their familiarity with a handgun.
- Take the course certificate, application form and photo to the county sheriff's office.
The OSBI must:
- Take the applicant's fingerprints.
- Send the fingerprints and applicant's materials to the OSBI within two weeks.
Original Print Headline: State facing heavy backlog of concealed-carry requests
- Conduct a background check and approve or deny the application within 60 or 90 days, depending on circumstances.
Chase Cook 918-581-8386
Curtis Leos, manager of Tulsa Firearms, helps Tonya Thompson steady and shoot her revolver. The firing range, located at 5949 S. Garnett Road in Tulsa, has seen a recent increase in concealed-carry permits. KT KING/Tulsa World