OLR Research Report


September 9, 2013

 

2013-R-0349

DEADLINE FOR PROCESSING GUN PERMIT APPLICATIONS

By: Veronica Rose, Chief Analyst

You asked how long it takes to get a gun permit or license in Connecticut and other states. You especially want to know if other states have a longer deadline than Connecticut does.

SUMMARY

The processing times for a gun permit (or license) application range from a low of three days in Nebraska to a high of six months in New York. All but six states specify the deadlines in law (see Table 1).

Connecticut has an eight-week deadline, which may be extended if the permit-issuing official does not get the results of the mandatory national criminal history record check on the permit applicant within the deadline. By law, the official cannot issue the permit before getting the check results (CGS 29-29).

At least 19 states and the District of Columbia have a longer deadline than Connecticut for processing a gun permit application, including Kentucky, Montana, and New Jersey (60 days); Arizona (75 days); California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, and Kansas (90 days); Arkansas and Nevada (120 days); and New York (six months).

The six states that do not specify a deadline in law are Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Rhode Island. Louisiana requires that the permit be issued “timely and without delay” and Maryland requires that it be issued “within a reasonable time.”

Table 1: Processing Time for Gun Credentials (Permit or License) Nationwide

State

Type of Credential

Issuing Authority

Processing Time Set by Law

Comments

Alabama

License to carry pistol concealed or in a vehicle (Ala. Code 13A-11-73)

County sheriffs

Within 30 days from receipt of complete application (Ala. Code 13A-11-75(a)(1))

 

Alaska

Permit to carry concealed handgun (Alaska Stat. 18.65.700)

State Police

Within 30 days from receipt of application (Alaska Stat. 18.65.700(b)).

If the department does not receive the fingerprint eligibility information by the end of the 30-day period, and the applicant is otherwise eligible, it must issue a conditional permit, which is subject to immediate revocation if the fingerprint information subsequently shows that the applicant is ineligible.

Arizona

Permit to carry concealed weapon (Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-3112)

Department of Public Safety

Up to 75 days (Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-3112H).

The department has 60 days to complete all the required qualification checks and must issue the permit within 15 working days after completing the checks.

Arkansas

License to carry concealed handgun (Ark. Code Ann. 5-73-302)

State Police

Within 120 days of receipt of complete application (Ark. Code Ann. 5-73-308(b)(2))

According to the agency, the deadline can be extended for several reasons, including illegible fingerprints or incomplete or unsigned applications.

California

License to carry concealed firearms (Cal. Penal Code 26150(b), 26155(b))

County sheriffs and police chiefs

Within 90 days after the initial application or 30 days after receipt of the applicant's criminal background check from the Department of Justice, whichever is later (Cal. Penal Code 26205)

The application process can take four to six months, according to the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

http://www.bsis.ca.gov/customer_service/faqs/firearms_permit.shtml

Colorado

Concealed handgun permit (Col. Rev. Stat. 18-12-203)

County sheriffs

Within 90 days after the receipt of complete application (Col. Rev. Stat. 18-12-206)

A sheriff who does not receive the fingerprint check results within the 90-day period must determine whether to grant or deny the application without considering the results. On receiving the results, the sheriff may reverse the action, if warranted.

Connecticut

Permit to carry handguns (CGS 29-35)

Eligibility certificate (CGS 29-36g)

Local police chiefs/State Police Firearms Licensing Unit (two-step process) for gun permit for residents; State Police for nonresidents

State Police for eligibility certificate

Within eight weeks after a sufficient application is made (CGS 29-29)

The local permit-issuing authority must decide on a permit application within one week of getting the results of the mandatory national criminal history record check on an applicant. Deadline for issuing the permit may be extended if the authority does not get the results within the eight-week period.

Delaware

License to carry deadly weapons (Del. Code tit. 11 1441)

Superior courts

None stated

 

District of Colombia

Registration certificate to purchase firearm (D.C. Code 7-2502.01 to 2502.07a)

Police chiefs

Within 60 days after receipt of application (D.C. Code 7-2502.07)

60-day deadline may be extended for good cause (e.g., delay in getting information from sources outside the D.C. government).

Florida

License to carry concealed weapons or firearms (handguns) (Fla. Stat. 790.01)

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Within 90 days after receipt of application (Fla. Stat. 790.06(6)(c))

If the department gets criminal history record information with no final disposition on a crime that may disqualify the applicant, it may suspend the 90-day deadline until it gets final disposition or proof of restoration of civil firearm rights.

Georgia

License to carry weapon (handgun) (Ga. Code 16-11-29(a))

County probate courts

Up to 40 days (Ga. Code 16-11-129(d)(4))

 

Hawaii

License to carry handgun (Haw. Rev. Stat. 134-9)

Permit to acquire firearm (Haw. Rev. Stat. 134-2)

County or municipal police chiefs

14 to 20 days (Haw. Rev. Stat. 134-2)

The permit cannot be issued earlier than 14 calendar days after the application and must be issued or denied before the 20th day from the date of the application (Haw. Rev. Stat. 134-2(e)).

Idaho

License to carry concealed weapon (handgun) (Idaho Code Ann. 18-3302)

County sheriffs

Within 90 days after filing of application (Idaho Code Ann. 18-3302)

Illinois

Firearm Owner's Identification Card to acquire or possess firearms (430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/1)

State Police

Within 30 days after receipt of application (430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/5)

Indiana

License to carry handgun (Ind. Code Ann. 35-47-2-1)

State Police

None stated (Ind. Code Ann. 35-47-2-3)

Four to eight weeks, according to the agency; those with background problems may take longer.

Iowa

Permit to acquire handguns (Iowa Code 724.17)

Permit to carry weapons (Iowa Code 724.11)

County sheriffs for residents; public safety commissioner for nonresidents

Within 30 days of receipt of application (Iowa Code 724.11)

 

Kansas

License to carry concealed handgun (Kan. Stat. 75-7c03)

Attorney General's Office

With some exceptions, within 90 days of receipt of application (Kan. Stat. 75-7c05(e))

Kentucky

License to carry concealed weapons (Ky. Rev. Stat. 237.110)

State Police

Within 60 days of receipt of application (Ky. Rev. Stat. 237.110(9)).

Louisiana

Permit to carry concealed handgun (La. Rev. Stat. 40.1379.3(A)(1))

Department of Public Safety and Corrections

“Timely and without delay” (La. Rev. Stat. 40.1379.3(H)(2))

The deputy secretary of public safety services must, within two working days of the initial application, notify the police chief and chief law enforcement officer in the applicant's home town. These officials have 10 days to forward to the deputy secretary any information on the applicant's legal qualification to get a permit. According to the Louisiana State Police, the average processing time for the permit is approximately 60 to 90 days.

Maine

Permit to carry concealed handgun (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 25 2003)

Mayor and municipal officers or councilors of a city or town for residents; State Police chief for nonresidents

30 days from receipt of an application for a resident of five or more years; 60 days for nonresident and resident of less than five years (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 25 2003)

“Due to the high volume of applications the Weapons Division is receiving, the process may take as long as 150 days,” according to the Maine Department of Public Safety website.

Maryland

Permit to carry handgun (Md. Code, Public Safety 5-303)

State Police licensing division

Within a reasonable time (Md. Code, Public Safety 5-306(a)

The process may take up to 90 days, according to the Maryland State Police.

http://www.mdsp.org/Organization/SupportServicesBureau/LicensingDivision/HandgunPermit.aspx

Massachusetts

Class A and Class B firearm license to carry (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140 131)

Permit to purchase firearm (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140 131A)

Firearm Identification (FID) Card (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140 129B)

Local police or State Police

40 days (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140 131(e))

Notwithstanding the 40-day deadline, the license cannot be issued unless the State Police colonel certifies in writing that the information available to him or her does not indicate that the possession of a firearm by the applicant would violate state or federal law. According to the State Police website, in practice, the process currently takes up to six weeks.

Michigan

License to carry concealed pistol (Mich. Comp. Laws 28.425b)

License to purchase, carry, possess, or transport pistol (Mich. Comp. Laws 28.422)

Counties' concealed weapons licensing boards

Police chiefs or county sheriffs, where applicable

None stated

 

Minnesota

Permit to carry pistol (Minn. Stat. 624.714)

Transferee permit (or permit to carry) required to purchase handgun (Minn. Stat. 624.7131)

County sheriffs

County sheriffs and police chiefs

Within 30 days of receipt of application (Minn. Stat. Ann. 624.714(6))

Failure to notify the applicant of the denial of an application within the 30-day deadline constitutes approval of the permit.

Mississippi

Concealed handgun license

Department of Public Safety

Within 45 days of receipt of application (Miss Code 45-9-101)

If the department cannot meet the 45-day deadline, it must notify the applicant and provide an estimated deadline by which it will make a determination.

Missouri

Concealed carry endorsement to carry concealed on one's person or in a vehicle (Mo. Rev. Stat. 571.101)

County or city sheriffs

See comments (Mo. Rev. Stat. 571.101)

Sherriff must request a criminal background check on applicants. The sheriff must issue the certificate within (1) three working days of receiving the results or (2) within 45 calendar days if he or she has not received the check results. The sheriff must revoke the certificate within 24 hours if the check reveals a disqualifying record.

Montana

Permit to carry concealed weapon (Mont. Code 45-8-321)

County sheriffs

Within 60 days after the application is filed (Mont. Code 45-8-321).

Nebraska

Permit to carry a concealed handgun (Neb. Rev. Stat. 69-2430)

Nebraska State Patrol

Up to three days (Neb. Rev. Stat. 69-2405).

The statute has a three-day deadline, but according to the Nebraska State Patrol website, the application process takes up to 45 days.

Nevada

Permit to carry concealed firearms (Nev. Rev. Stat. 202.3657)

County sheriffs

Within 120 days after complete application is submitted (Nev. Rev. Stat. 202.366).

 

New Hampshire

License to carry loaded handgun (N.H. Rev. Stat. 159:4)

Police chief, mayor, selectmen, sheriffs (as applicable) for residents; State Police for nonresidents

Within 14 days after application (N.H. Rev. Stat. 159:6c).

 

New Jersey

Firearms purchaser identification (FID) card to purchase long guns (N.J. Stat. 2C:58-3(b))

Permit to purchase handgun (N.J. Stat. 2C:58-3(a))

Permit to carry handgun (N.J. Stat. 2C:58-4(a))

Police chief (or State Police superintendent, where applicable) for FID card and permit to purchase handguns

Police chief (or State Police superintendent, where applicable) approves the application; the Superior Court issues the permit to carry handguns

Within 60 days of filing (N.J. Stat. 58-4)

If an application is not approved within 60 days of filing, it is deemed approved unless the applicant agrees to an extension in writing.

New Mexico

License to carry concealed handgun (N.M. Stat. 29-19-5)

Department of Public Safety

Within 30 days after receiving the completed application and the results of a national criminal background check (N.M. Stat. 29-19-6)

On average it takes approximately 12 weeks to complete a background investigation before the license application can be processed, according to the Department of Public Safety website.

New York

License

 

Within 6 months of the date the application is presented to the licensing authority (N.Y. Penal Law 400.00)

The six-month deadline may be extended, for good cause, upon written notice to the applicant specifically stating the reasons for the delay.

North Carolina

License to purchase handgun (N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-402, -403, -404)

Permit to carry concealed handgun (N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-415.11)

County sheriffs

Within 30 days from the application date (N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-404)

North Dakota

License to carry concealed firearm (N.D. Cent. Code 62.1-04-02, 62.1-04-03)

State Bureau of Criminal Investigation

Within 60 days of properly completed application (N.D. Cent. Code 62.1-04-01)

 

Ohio

License to carry concealed handgun (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 2923.125)

County sheriffs

Within 45 days of receipt of application (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 2923.125)

The 45-day deadline may be extended under some circumstances. For example, the sheriff must suspend the processing of an application until the disposition of any case arising from an arrest or charge for an offense that would disqualify the applicant from holding a license.

Oklahoma

License to carry concealed or unconcealed handgun (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 1290.3)

State Bureau of Investigation

Within 60 days of receipt of the application if background check reveals no record on the applicant; 90 days in all other cases (Okla. Stat. tit. 1290.2)

The bureau must issue a license to an applicant who appears to be in full compliance if the only reason for a delay is that the bureau has not received fingerprint check results. If the check results contain disqualifying information, the bureau must revoke the license.

Oregon

License to carry concealed handgun (Or. Rev. Stat. 166.291- to 166.295)

County sheriffs

Within 45 days after an application is made (Or. Rev. Stat. 166.293).

If no decision is made on the license application within 45 days, the applicant may seek review.

Pennsylvania

License to carry concealed firearm (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. 6109(a))

County sheriffs or city police chiefs, where applicable

Up to 45 days (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. 6109(e))

 

Rhode Island

License or permit to carry concealed or visible handgun (R.I. Gen. Laws 11-47-8, 11-47-18)

Police chiefs or superintendents, boards of police commissioners, or town clerks, as applicable

None stated

 

South Carolina

Permit to carry “concealable weapon” (S.C. Code 23-31-215)

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)

Within 90 days from the date of application (S.C. Code 23-31-215)

An applicant may be granted a permit by operation of law if he or she is not notified of a denial within the 90-day period. In any such case, SLED may revoke the permit upon written notification that sufficient grounds exist for revocation or initial denial.

South Dakota

Permit to carry concealed pistol (S.D. Codified Laws 23-7-7)

County sheriffs

See comments (S.D. Codified Laws 23-7-7.1 & 23-7-8)

Sheriff must issue temporary permit within five days from the date of the permit application, except if an international criminal history record check is required through INTERPOL, the sheriff must issue the permit within three business days of receiving the response.

Tennessee

Permit to carry handguns (Tenn. Code 39-17-1351)

State Department of Safety

Within 90 days of receipt of application (Tenn. Code 39-17-1351(l))

Texas

License to carry concealed handguns (Texas Gov. Code 411.177(a))

State Department of Public Safety

Within 60 days of receipt of application (Texas Gov. Code 411.177).

The 60-day deadline may be extended if the department is unable to make a determination. It must notify the applicant, giving an explanation and an estimated deadline for making the determination.

Utah

Permit to carry concealed firearms (Utah Code Ann. 53-5-704, 53-5-705)

State Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Identification

Within 60 days of receipt of application (Utah Code 53-5-704 (1)(a))

Vermont

No permit or license required

Not applicable

Not applicable

 

Virginia

Permit to carry concealed handgun (Va. Code Ann. 18.2-308(D))

Circuit court clerk for residents; State Police for nonresidents

Within 45 days of receipt of complete application (Va. Code. 18-2-308.04)

 

Washington

License to carry concealed pistol (Wash. Rev. Code 9.41.070)

County sheriffs or municipal police chiefs

Within 30 days after filing of application; 60 days if applicant does not have a permanent Washington driver's license or state residency for 90 consecutive days (Wash. Rev. Code 9.41.070)

West Virginia

License to carry concealed deadly weapon (handgun) (W. Va. Code 61-7-4)

County sheriffs

Within 45 days after application filed if all required background checks are completed (W. Va. Code 61-7-4(f))

Wisconsin

License to carry concealed weapons (Wis. Stat. 175.60(2)(a))

State Department of Justice

Within 21 days after receiving complete application (Wis. Stat. 175.60(9)(b)).

 

Wyoming

Permit to carry concealed firearm (Wyo. Stat. 6-8-104(b))

Attorney General's Office through the Division of Criminal Investigation

Within 60 days after receiving complete application (Wyo. Stat. 16-8-104)

If the division denies an application, it must inform the applicant of the right to submit additional documentation within 30 days. On receipt of the additional documentation, the division must reconsider and render its decision within 20 days.

Source: State Statutes and Select Agency Websites

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