The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners have been getting a lot of negative feedback lately on how long it’s been taking to get concealed carry handgun and pistol purchase permits over the last year and a half.

On Tuesday, June 8, Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers put out a progress report on the processing of concealed carry handgun and pistol purchase permits.  The report explained improvements in the process that are meant to speed things up.

 Last month, the department described a “dramatic increase” in permit applications for both concealed carry and purchase permits. From April 1 to March 31 in 2021, the department saw an increase of just over 100 percent in applications for pistol purchase permits and a nearly 80 percent increase in applications for concealed carry permits compared to the same period in 2019.

The increase in requests, combined with the COVID-19 restrictions, slowed things down.  However, the department reported this week that measures adopted recently to speed up the process have been paying off.

“Having substantially reduced the number of pending Pistol Purchase permits, Sheriff Rogers and his team are focusing on Concealed Carry permits,” the press release states. “The Sheriff’s Office currently utilizes two ‘Live Scan’ electronic fingerprinting machines to process Concealed Carry Handgun permits. This week, Sheriff Rogers is adding a third ‘Live Scan’ machine to reduce the wait time for concealed carry appointments.”

The statement added that, once that machine is operational, the department will start rescheduling fingerprint appointments by condensing two months of appointments into a single month – thus significantly reducing the wait time to be fingerprinted.

Since April 21 of 2021, the department said it has achieved the following:

  • 1,509 pistol purchase permits completed.
  • New applications are submitted each day, but the number of daily pending purchase permits has fallen from 420 on April 21 to 98 as of June 7.
  • 709 concealed carry permits were completed from April 22 of this year to June 7.

There are currently 3,697 pending applicants for concealed carry permits who’ve already been fingerprinted but are waiting for mental health clearances from local providers, or for the issuance of their permit by the NC State Bureau of Investigation and there are 2,640 applicants who have submitted a concealed carry application who’ve already been scheduled for a fingerprinting appointment.