Kentucky: New online concealed carry applications paying off

A program implemented by the Kentucky State Police three months ago to streamline granting of concealed carry permits has cut wait time from over 60 days to less than 15.

The new online application augments the traditional paper process that has been in place since Kentucky’s concealed carry law was enacted in 1996. With the numbers of permits more than quadrupling in the past decade and some 300,000 Blue Grass staters now packing, the KSP added the online submission process last November with a mandate to process all forms within 15 days. Now in its third month, state officials contend all is running smoothly.

“We are able to adapt to any changes and have not experienced any unexpected issues,” KSP Sgt. Norman Preston told the Frankfort Courier-Journal. “We are expecting to see a gradual increase (in use) after the general public has been made aware.”

To use the process, applicants simply have to register on the state police website, submit their form and training record from a state-approved instructor electronically, and pay $70, a $10 bump from the traditional fee. In return, permits are either approved or denied within the 15-day window. Those that are denied can be appealed.

This same process can be performed for new permits, renewals, and Emergency Protective Order licenses. The former is a temporary permit for victims of domestic violence. Kentucky also offers special concealed carry permits for active and retired law enforcement as well as judicial members, with enhanced rights.

Those not wishing to complete the online process can still go into their local county sheriff’s office and submit a paper application for $60. However, these have a much longer turn around, and can take 60 to 90 days to grant.

Although some state lawmakers who voted against the measure last spring have reservations that the shortened turnaround time could lead to mistakes, the legislation’s original sponsor disagrees.

“The faster we can be responsive to people’s applications, the better the system is,” said Sara Beth Gregory, a former Republican state senator. “Speeding up the process to approve people who should be approved is not a bad thing.”