Longer wait for concealed weapons permit appointments in Tampa Bay

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - The shooting range at Bill Jackson's sporting goods was busy Monday and so is the wait to get a concealed weapons permit if you live in Tampa Bay.

"There's been a backlog," said co-owner Doug Jackson, Bill Jackson's Sporting Goods.

"People are not happy about it," he said.

Jackson's customers have had a tough time making an appointment at Tampa's State Department of Agriculture location where the state processes paperwork for concealed weapons permits.

"The office in Tampa has about a two and a half to three month wait the last we heard just to get an appointment to go see them," said Jackson.

When I called today, the next appointment was one month away.  An average wait is a couple of weeks.

"It's an accumulation of things. One after Sandy Hook, a year ago, the government starts talking about not being able to buy guns. People said, 'I'm going to buy a gun before the government tells me I can't,'" said Jackson.

Eric Friday who represents www.floridacarry.org, an organization protecting Floridia gun owners' rights, says he's keeping a close eye on the delays.

"Every time there's one of these mass shootings or every time there's some big push for gun control, we see an increase in applications and we know that's going to happen," said Friday.

To get a concealed weapons permit in Florida you have to complete certified training, show a valid ID, have a clean record, go through a background check and be fingerprinted.  The info is sent to a state database.

Jackson says his customers have complained about the delay, but are willing wait.

"In the last year, the interest in guns and gun ownership has increased significantly. People are taking classes much more than they ever have," he said.

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