Florida touts the most concealed carry weapons permits in the country, and the application process may become even faster with a bill that's been proposed.
Legislation moving through the Capitol would make the concealed carry weapon-permitting process faster.
Rep. Jamie Grant’s bill would allow local tax collectors to process applications, moving the responsibility from the Department of Agriculture.
“It just simply allows me to go to a tax collector and do it in person there rather than mailing it in, so no, I don’t think it makes it any easier, it does make it more efficient,” Grant said.
Applicants right now have the option of mailing their application in or going to one of eight regional Department of Agriculture locations in the state. The bill expands licensing to 67 tax collector offices.
The House bill would allow tax collectors to process the applications, but only if they choose to.
Indian River County Tax Collector Carole Jean Jordan said the majority of tax collectors love the idea and that she doesn’t see this as an easing up on the permitting process.
"The requirements are certainly the same as they’ve always been," Jordan said. "We’re merely filling out an application, making sure it’s done correctly.”
Florida has more than 1.2 million concealed carry licenses. The demand can be so high that the eight regional locations can get bogged down, but the only dissenting vote for the bill in Wednesday’s committee was Rep. Mark Pafford, saying he doesn’t think tax collectors need to step in.
“At least in Palm Beach County I’m not hearing that there is necessarily a problem in getting these, so I’m going to respectfully not support your bill,” Pafford said.
The NRA is supporting the legislation. The program would carry about $800,000 of start up costs funded by concealed carry license fees.