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Concealed Carry Application Time Drastically Reduced

July 22nd, 2019 by Jake Stofan

The Department of Agriculture says wait times for concealed carry permit applications have been drastically reduced since Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried took office in January. 
 
The Division of Licensing says there’s been a culture change under the new administration that’s resulted in the increased speed, but some gun rights activists are skeptical.
The printer that’s used to create concealed carry licenses is a behemoth of a machine, taking up a quarter of a room.
 
It prints off about 2,000 each day, but Division of Licensing Director Stephen Hurm said it’s people, not the machine, that have made drastic reductions to application wait times.
“They just do a great job,” said Hurm.
Hurm said streamlining the process and changing the culture in the Division helped make it possible.
Part of that included abolishing a rule that used to require employees who made more than two mistakes to be automatically terminated.
“We celebrate them doing it well and we want them to work together and enjoy what they’re doing,” said Hurm.
There are more than two million people approved to cary concealed by the State of Florida. 
 
Applications increased 76% in 2019, with nearly 20,000 per month.
Even with the greater workload, wait times for applicants with no issues on their records have been reduced from 50 days to just one day since the start of the year.
For applicants with issues, its been reduced from three months to 25 days.
Despite the decrease in wait times and increase in application Commissioner Nikki Fried said the Division of Licensing has reduced overtime costs by 87%.
However, some like JD Johnson, who has helped train more than 10,000 people to carry concealed are skeptical of the new numbers touted by the Division.
“Time will tell. I mean that’s my take on it,” said Johnson, who owns Talon Range in Midway Florida.
Despite the hesitation, Johnson said he has seen some positive signs.
“A couple weeks ago I went and renewed mine and I was in and out in about 15 minutes, but that was a renewal,” said Johnson. “I’ve had the permit for seven years and I went in and it was just really a smooth easy process.”
The Division said by the end of the year it will have filled 25 new positions approved by the Legislature during the 2019 session. 
 
It hopes the new employees will ensure the turnaround time for applications stays low.

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