The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that they are flooded by new concealed weapon permit applications after switching to shall issue guidelines, seeing over 500 submissions in just two weeks. This is up from 539 in all of 2013.
“In the past week and a half we have received more applications than we received in the entire calendar year,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Public Information Officer Lt. Jeff Hallock told Guns.com.
On Feb. 14, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court reversed its decision on Peruta v San Diego County, making ‘self-defense’ cause enough for issuing permits to those who applied for concealed carry in San Diego.
This was a change from the long prohibitive may-issue requirements that forced applicants to prove they had a reason to request a permit.
Within days, although not named in the lawsuit, the sheriff of Orange County switched courses and began accepting permit applications under the more relaxed shall issue requirements, while awaiting final disposition on potential appeals in the Peruta case.
Now the floodgates are open and the department has seen an impressive turn out of residents seeking to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.
Nevertheless, the OCSD is not just handing out permits. Applicants still have to follow the same process that has already been established by the sheriff to include an 11-page application, interview, $195 in fees, state and local background checks and a six-to-eight week processing period before the application is decided on.
“Obviously we are aware that the Attorney General and the 9th Court still have another week to try and withdraw or appeal that opinion [on Peruta].” With that, Hallock advised that the department has not issued any permits as of Thursday under the new guidelines.
“We are in a holding pattern,” explained Hallock. “The sheriff wants to be responsive to the court’s decision and that’s why she’s accepting applications with self-protection and self-defense as good-cause. However, she also recognizes that fact that if there is a withdrawal of the opinion in the next week, she is prepared to readdress the issue.”
“We are a week to two weeks away from having real clarity as to where we are going.”
Meanwhile, the OC Board of Supervisors is discussing adding more funding for the sheriff’s department to help tackle the growing backlog of permit requests.