Wait getting shorter for concealed weapons license

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The wait is getting shorter for people wanting to get their concealed weapons license.

After the school shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December and talk of tougher gun laws at the beginning of the year, the number of people applying skyrocketed, and the Florida Department of Agriculture struggled to keep up, even hiring extra workers.

According to local gun owners and some vendors setting up for this weekend's North Florida Arms Collectors Gun Show at the Prime Osborn Convention Center in downtown Jacksonville, the wait is now about two months, give or take.

The state has to process an application in three months, and before, it was taking the entire three months. That doesn't appear to be the case anymore.

Gun sales are down a little, but those at the gun show agrees there is still a shortage of ammo.

While organizer Lauren Schoenberger doesn't expect the record breaking gun show crowds she saw this past winter, she says it'll still be full of people trying find a new weapon.

"Normally at this time of year things start to slow down a bit over the summer months, but it's sill been rather busy and things are harder to come by, especially ammo," Schoenberger said.

It's an issue Philip Gazaleh hears firsthand from customers at Green Acres Sporting Goods.

"Well, we're getting a lot of newer people come in the door 'cause there's a shortage of ammo in most of the big box stores and gun shops," Gazaleh said. "A lot of gun shops are limiting the amount of ammo you can buy in one stop."

While there's still the rush for ammo, Gazaleh says gun sales have tapered off from where they were in the winter. And his concealed weapons classes that were packed are a little smaller.

But that's not the only change since early this year.

In January, more than 120,000 people downloaded or requested concealed weapons applications. In April, the number was around half that.

And instead of this winter's three and a half months for an appointment to get a license, now the wait in Jacksonville is just under two months.

"I suspect that it'll slow down a little bit over the summer and eventually things will get back to normal," Schoenberger said. "That's what I'm hoping."

The gun show is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8.

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