Flood Of Applications Delays Oklahoma Concealed Carry Licenses

Friday, July 20th 2012, 6:53 pm
By: News On 6

Local gun instructors said they always see a spike in enrollment for concealed carry classes after big tragedies like the Aurora shooting.

However, there's a long wait in Oklahoma this year to actually get a license after completing one of those courses.

The OSBI has a huge backlog in processing gun licenses, because they're getting as many as 1,000 new applications each week.

Dustin said he thought he would've had his gun license by now.

"I took my course toward the end of March, and it was early to mid-April when I finally turned in all the paperwork," Dustin said.

Dustin's been waiting more than 90 days. He finally pulled the trigger and called to complain.

"They told me the date they received it, that they had received it, and that they were running about four-to-five weeks behind," Dustin said.

OSBI handles all the Self Defense Act licenses.

The agency confirmed the backlog and said it receives as many as 1,000 new applications each week.

Gun instructor Don Roberts said he's seen an up tick in enrollment for his gun courses.

"Boom—right at the end of May, it took off and, typically, in the summertime, it slows down," Roberts said.

5/15/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Governor Mary Falling Signs Open Carry Bill

OSBI's records reflect the same timeframe.

In early June, processing time for licenses surpassed 60 days. By the end of that month, it jumped to over 90 days. The agency is now holding steady at a processing time of approximately 97 days.

Roberts said he wonders if even more people will apply after the Aurora shooting.

"Every time, after any incident like that, you have a certain degree of people who say we have to do away with guns, because guns are what caused this problem," Roberts said. "Then you have another group of people who say, ‘If I had a gun in that situation, maybe I could have saved somebody's life.'"

Oklahoma has 126,718 active license holders. Just over 10,000 people received licenses last year. Halfway through 2012, new applications are already at more than 15,000.

Starting November 1, gun license holders can carry openly.

The OSBI said it's adding a temporary night shift on August 1, as well as two other temporary workers.

The team has already worked nine days of overtime the past six months to process the applications.