Fresno County speeding up CCW application process

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If you've ever applied for a Concealed Carry Permit in Fresno County, you know it can be a very long process. But a new online application has drastically shortened wait times. (KFSN)

If you've ever applied for a Concealed Carry Permit in Fresno County, you know it can be a very long process. But a new online application has drastically shortened wait times.

Gene Summers is a longtime shooter, but he's a first-time CCW applicant."

He's hoping to join thousands of other permit holders in Fresno County.

"With so many rights being taken away, I thought I would get one that I have while I can still get it," he said.

Sheriff Margaret Mims is a firm believer that people have the right to carry, especially for self-protection. It's part of the reason her office has issued more permits than any other county in California and why there was such a backlog of applicants.

"Whenever there was an incident like San Bernardino, our reports and applicants went up, and we needed to find a way to stop that from happening," she said.

A new process launched a year ago, allows people to apply online. It also eliminates the need to go in for a first interview.

"The average wait time now is four to five weeks, when before it was months," Mims explained. "And I know it was frustrating for people."

The sheriff's office has also added two more investigators to handle the workload. Right now, they have 43 applicants waiting to be interviewed.

Last year at this time, the waitlist extended into the 400s.

"I'm in no, hurry, I'm 71 years old, I just hope I can pass it," Summers said.

By the time Summers is ready to apply, receiving the physical permit should be the easiest part of this new, streamlined process.>

The cost for a new permit is $208. But because the new system is so efficiently, the sheriff is considering the idea of lowering costs in the future.
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