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Concealed weapons permit may get easier to obtain

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Updated: 2/03 7:32 pm
YULEE, Fla. -- Getting a concealed weapons permit in Florida may get easier if new legislation passes.

Instead of waiting for an appointment with the Department of Agriculture to apply for a concealed weapons permit, Senate Bill 544 takes aim at the tax collector’s office as a location where anyone could submit an application. Weapons expert Gary Belson says the wait time would be dramatically reduced.

“You don't have to wait 30 days, 60 days, 10 days, or 19 days. You can just walk in and process it just like you can with your driver’s license,” said Belson.

Gun rights supporters like Douglas Adkins said the move makes sense and could bring other benefits.

“It helps facilitate greater compliance with the laws and helps ensure that more people are in compliance with those elements of the Florida statute that relate to concealed weapons,” said Adkins.

Belson said if the bill passes, it could help with the backlog of permit applications, since tax collectors could accept them and the Department of Agriculture could focus on processing them.

“You don't have to wait for it and it could mean the difference in a life or death situation. You had your license, you're a lawful owner of firearms and you’re acting reasonably and lawfully it would be a lot better if it was processed when needed,” said Belson.

If Senate Bill 544 passes and tax collectors can accept applications, the Department of Agriculture will still be in charge of issuing permits.

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