‘No more baby parts,’ Colorado gunman said November 29, 2015
In wake of Colorado shooting, Obama calls for more gun controls November 29, 2015
Colorado shooting suspect called loner who left few clues November 28, 2015
Planned Parenthood shooting suspect was adrift, alienated November 28, 2015
3 killed, 9 wounded in attack at Planned Parenthood November 27, 2015
Armed older couple gets upper hand on burglar November 22, 2015
Gun control advocates refocus on background checks October 29, 2015
The average gun owner now owns 8 guns October 22, 2015
People were shot by toddlers every week this year October 15, 2015
Finger points anywhere but at gun attitudes October 14, 2015
Last fall, the average wait and processing time for "CPL" applicants at the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office was 15 minutes, said Brenda Gibbs, staff services manager.
Last week, the wait was up to an hour.
The number of applicants has mushroomed since mid-December, starting the first business day after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, according to data kept by the sheriff's office.
Nationally, people have speculated that the push for gun control legislation is behind the increase in applications. Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick last week issued a statement saying the sheriff's office plans to stay clear of controversy over proposed gun law changes.
Statewide, 394,286 people held active concealed pistol licenses as of Jan. 7, according to the Department of Licensing.
In most cases, sheriff's staff have to process applications within 30 days, Gibbs said.
Staff are struggling to keep up with the new demand, she said. They're having to turn away three or four people at the end of each day.
"We're just doing the best we can," she said.
On a recent weekday, people crowded the small fourth-floor lobby at the sheriff's office headquarters, a few tapping their toes. The CPL applicants and those seeking CPL renewals waited alongside all the other folks who come to the sheriff's office for one reason or another -- including people required to show up to register as sex offenders.
Sheriff's staff in recent weeks have created "stations" within the processing area to streamline the flow of applicants for CPLs, Gibbs said. Still, the line tends to bottleneck at the fingerprinting machine. Fingerprinting takes about five minutes per person.
The average application takes 15 minutes to process, Gibbs said.
"That's four an hour," she said. "That's about as fast as we can go."
Applicants are men and women, young and old, sheriff's spokeswoman Shari Ireton said. Couples come in together. Parents bring in their grown children. Applicants must be 21 at the time they apply.
When someone applies, the sheriff's office does an extensive, multi-step background check and a mental health check, Gibbs said. The FBI also is contacted.
Much of the process is protected by privacy laws. The names and addresses of people who seek or obtain CPLs are exempt from public disclosure under the state's open records law.
Gun sales are up in the county, too, police data show. The laws are complicated, but licensed gun sellers here are required to send documentation to a police agency for every handgun sale.
In Snohomish County, the sheriff's office receives most of those forms, though some go to city police departments.
The sheriff's office counted 5,171 handgun sales in 2011. There were 12,523 reported sales in 2012.
Part of the uptick likely is due to the spring 2012 opening of Cabela's sporting goods store on the Tulalip Reservation, Ireton said.
Other kinds of firearm sales are tracked at the federal level.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; email@example.com
Concealed pistol license services vary by community and police agency in Snohomish County. Most people who live in the county apply at the sheriff's office headquarters on the fourth floor of the county courthouse, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett. You can also find information about CPL laws at www.dol.wa.gov/business/firearms.
In most cases, you can print out the forms at home and fill them out there to lessen your wait time. For fingerprinting, it's best not to use lotion or other ointments on your hands that day.
|CONCEALED PISTOL LICENSE APPLICATIONS|
|Source: Snohomish County Sheriff's Office|
More Local News Headlines
Voters overwhelmingly chose Sultan’s newest councilman, 21 Hearing set on car allowances for Snohomish County officials Burn ban lifted in Snohomish County — except Darrington 11:51 a.m. Mukilteo School District ponders change as enrollment continues to surge Monroe High's Cameron Lee wants to pursue theater, music interests Front Porch: Convent holds Christmas festival in Stanwood Community Calendar school winners
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.