ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Many Floridians wanting to apply for or renew a concealed weapon license can now do so at their local tax collectors' office.
Two local counties have joined the statewide program for gun owners, which the commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services said makes applying for and renewing concealed weapon licenses more cost effective.
Florida concealed weapon permits are processed by the Agriculture Department. To make the process more convenient for Floridians, tax collector offices have been given authority to take applications, fingerprint the applicants and send the information securely to the department for final determination.
Before the program expanded, applications could only be made at eight offices around the state.
St. Johns and Nassau counties are two of more than a dozen county tax collectors offices partnering with the Agriculture Department to streamline the application process. The others include Walton, Hillsborough, Martin, Brevard, Marion, Lee, Pinellas, Pasco, Highlands, Okaloosa and Indian River.
Commissioner Adam Putnam announced the changes at the St. Johns County Tax Collectors Office with Tax Collector Dennis Hollingsworth.
"We have a factor of convenience that our tax collector partners like Dennis Hollingsworth offer, where you're close by to home or office to run down, know you can have that application or renewal efficiently processed or receive it shortly thereafter," Putnam said.
Putnam said the Agriculture Department is anticipating a spike in renewal applications soon because a large number of licenses are set to expire.
Putnam also said partnering with tax collectors offices guarantees that people who are not eligible are denied, while making sure people who are eligible have their paperwork handled efficiently and effectively.
Anyone who has moved since the issuance of their concealed weapon license should update his or her address online at FreshFromFlorida.com, officials said.
Since the partnership with tax collectors began, 14,711 concealed weapon license applications have been accepted by tax collector offices. There are currently more than 1.4 million concealed weapon licenses.
In July 2015, Putnam announced that the department is expediting concealed weapon license applications for all active military members and veterans. For more information, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.