Tax Offices Might Process Gun License Applications

By: Dara Kam News Service of Florida | Posted: February 18, 2014 3:55 AM
Gun and bullets photo illustration

Gun owners would be able to apply for concealed weapons licenses at their local tax collector's offices under a National Rifle Association-backed measure approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Monday.

Florida has more than a million concealed weapons licenses and the number is growing. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has eight regional field offices where gun owners can apply for the permits in person, but demand is so high that the wait at some locales is six months for an appointment.

"It's a convenience for the citizens of the state of Florida to be able to come into their own county in buildings that their taxes helped pay for. Whether it's paying their taxes or getting a driver's license, it's a courtesy to the taxpayers," said Indian River County Tax Collector Carole Jean Jordan.

Under the proposal, tax collectors would be able to charge an extra $22 on top of the $70 fee for new applications and an additional $12 for renewals, which cost $60. The county officials already process photos, fingerprints and other things associated with the concealed carry applications. The costs don't include $42 for background checks, which will still be handled by the agriculture department.

Making it easier for gun owners to get concealed weapons licenses, which require some training, could make Floridians safer, said NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer.

"They become a little more conscious of the responsibility of gun ownership," said Hammer, who estimates that there are 8 million gun owners in Florida. "I think it can't hurt."

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offices in Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville, Doral, Orlando, Punta Gorda, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach are two-hour drives for some gun owners, many of whom prefer to hand over their paperwork in person because of past delays processing the applications by mail.

Clerks at the regional offices can also ensure that applications contain all of the items necessary to be processed, another time-saver. Applications now take about 35 days to process once received by the department, according to spokesman Aaron Keller. Several years ago, the department had a backlog of up to six months to get the applications processed, which by law are required to be completed within 90 days.

Start-up costs for the program would be about $800,000, including 11 new workers, to get the operation up-and-running in 30 counties, according to Keller. The money would come from a trust fund made up of the concealed weapons license fees, which now has a balance of about $26 million. The department would enter into agreements with the tax collectors, who would not be required to participate.

“It’s just kind of a natural thing for us to go into, after doing drivers' licenses. We’re a very secure facility. Our clerks are deputized,” Jordan said.

Tags: News, Politics

Comments (10)

toeless joe the fastest shot in the west
1:58PM FEB 20TH 2014
Just when you think you have heard it all........

Over the years our Lake County Tax Collector Bob McKee has used four different dates of birth on state job applications. At lest two different dates of birth with the Fl DOE to get a coaching job! He done this in order to hide his NY and Fl criminal history for DUI's which would qualify him as a felon, which should disqualify him from being Tax Collector. So in reality the people of Lake County have no way of knowing for sure who Bob McKee really is. Heck he could be Jimmy Hoffa in disguise for all we know.

So, what they are saying is the people in Lake County will have to go to the Tax Collector Bob McKee (who like Obama has a questionable birth and college Degree history) to get their concealed firearm permits.

The people might just as well be on that freeway that says "next exit turn right for hell." The nuts and the fruits have made a mockery out of anything this is connected to the so called government.
10:50AM FEB 21ST 2014
I guess that's what they get for letting mentalities like yours vote . . .

Pathetic . . . .
H.E. "Pete" Ashley
12:50PM FEB 20TH 2014
With $26 million in the trust fund and the Senate was ready to lop off $7 million for a none gun program, it appears that maybe they are charging be bit much for a permit. After all, a permit already exists. It's called the Second Amendment.
Foffah Ole
5:12AM FEB 19TH 2014
Is this a joke? Wow! Floridians don't need guns....they need education. Your state's population is at best .....horrible people who should rot in hell. White people here are absolutely terrible and they seem to be very afraid of everyone. Especially the men. Their guns seem to be the only thing that keeps em safe. Since obviously fair fights are out of the question. I only wish the African American people did not have to pay the price for their deep-deep fear of a imaginary boogey man. The south needs to educate whitey. He is so dumb, dangerous and completely scared of everyone and everything. BOO! I am white but not with these rebel flag waving, lazy, snitches and cry baby men here. There is a reason all intelligent people think this state and it's idiots can rot. Oh yeah....Jesus hates guns, florida, Nascar and whitey.
10:00AM FEB 19TH 2014
Yes, apparently this is a joke . . . a little too overdone, don't you think . . . even for a right wing generated, mocking red herring . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Fran k
9:56AM FEB 21ST 2014
Sure sounds like a liberal tax grab to me!!!

PATHETIC!!! Liberals.........
10:46AM FEB 21ST 2014
Maybe you should get together with your twins Franc and UnFrank and come back with something original that actually says something . . . . gessh . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
10:25PM FEB 18TH 2014
Gee . . . guess this must be SSN's intelligent, sensitive reaction to the Michael Dunn Jacksonville shootings trial . . . . an absence of articles about the trial, its verdicts, and the stupidity of Florida's Stand Your Ground laws . . . and instead, an article depicting a handgun and bullets . . . . . . maybe they're just trying to send a message to black youth that you must be packing and Stand Your Ground against all perceived threats . . . . such as being approached by any non-black male . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Fran k
9:56AM FEB 21ST 2014
Still more idiotspeak...
10:48AM FEB 21ST 2014
You must know - that's all that comes from you - especially as you have nothing of interest (or original) to say . . . . just play SSN fan club troll . . . or comment on four month old articles and hope no one catches on . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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