Still Waiting On Your Concealed Carry Permit To Arrive?
You did all your paperwork, completed your concealed carry training course, and maybe even submitted your fingerprints. Everything's in order and sent out. It's been weeks, though, and something deep in your gut is wondering if they might have lost your paperwork. Then there's always the scary situation where somebody messed up some paperwork and now your permit is lost in limbo.
While delays can definitely occur, most times they are due to simple backlogs. If a lot of concealed carrier applicants have applied and handed in their paperwork all at once, you can generally see some delays.
How to Investigate Manpower Shortages
There are frequent manpower shortages in the agencies that do the background investigations, file paperwork, and ensure everything is in order. This can tie up or delay a permit for months. The agencies that are typically responsible for doing the legwork for concealed carry permits are usually short-changed in terms of budget and manpower. This reduces the number of hours they can work on investigations and the number of people they can assign to a case.
The biggest problem comes when manpower shortages meets the appeal process. Sometimes someone messes something up and you need to appeal their decision. When manpower is in short supply, appeals generally get to the back of the line. Be patient. Make sure you have everything in order on your side and be persistent but polite.
Missing CCW Paperwork
The good news is that if something actually does go wrong, most state agencies are actually required to inform you of the reason. Sometimes it's on their end – they've misplaced some paperwork. When you get a letter in the mail stating that some paperwork is missing, follow the instructions in that letter and send it in. In most cases, sending in the missing paperwork will hopefully speed along the process.
Bad CCW Fingerprints
In states that require fingerprints be taken and sent in, there's always the possibility that the prints get smudged or are illegible. If that's the case, you may be required to resubmit fingerprints. When you get your fingerprints taken again, focus on keeping your finger relaxed when it's being applied to the paper. Tensing up or trying to move your finger when an officer is rolling it across the paper can result in smudging.
Missing Background Information
If you've lived in twenty states, fifty addresses, and a number of counties – it's easy to forget an address. In states that require a thorough federal, state, and county background check, missing details can delay your permit application. If you get a notice stating that they're missing information or are worried the information you provided was invalid, do your best to supply the correct information to them.
If you've got a name that matches a known criminal or someone who isn't eligible to possess a gun or a permit, you may have a hard time. First off, it's not your fault. Second, getting frustrated is natural but it's honestly not the investigator's fault (or yours, for that matter). Usually, you will have information that sets you apart from the other person. If you have anything that clearly identifies you as you and not that other person, please provide it upon request.
If all this sounds scary – it shouldn't be. Yes, the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit can sometimes take longer than we hoped but once you have your ccw permit, you'll only have to worry about renewals and staying good with state guidelines. Hang in there and you'll be surprised what a world of difference concealed carry can make!
In the meantime check out our ccw reciprocity map, so you know exactly where your concealed carry permit is honored.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.