This is pretty cool. It will save citizens from having to make multiple trips to the sheriff’s office to buy more permits. While I wish the General Assembly would eliminate the Pistol Purchase Permit Jim Crow law all together, it is nice to see a Sheriff making it easier for the citizens that he works for.
From the Alexander County Sheriffs Dept:
Sheriff Chris Bowman has announced that he intends to implement a new online gun purchase permitting system beginning June 3rd, 2013. The new system will be a joint effort between the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Advanced Imaging Systems headquartered in Pineville, NC. The system will afford the user the ability to apply for gun purchase permits from any location where they can access the internet, complete their payment online for their requested permits, and be notified electronically when their permits are ready to be picked up.
The intention of the new permitting system is to reduce the time that people have to wait in the Sheriff’s Office lobby for employees to process permits and to make the workflow of these employees more streamlined and efficient. The online permitting system is the same one that is currently in use by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and other area law enforcement agencies.
“Citizens will no longer have to come to the Sheriff’s Office and wait for long periods of time to obtain their gun permits”, noted Sheriff Chris Bowman, “The workload for gun permits kept increasing but I couldn’t justify adding more staff to handle the requests because the demand comes and goes; this will be the simplest and most economical fix to that problem”.
The new application process will allow the applicant to obtain their permit in the following simple steps:
- Access the application portal online through a link on the Sheriff’s Office website (located at www.AlexanderSheriff.org) which will appear on the site on June 3, 2013.
- Complete the background portion of the application online
- Pay the application and processing fee online via credit card
- Await email instructions from staff to come to pick up the permit in person
Permit costs will remain at $5 per permit with a maximum request of four (4) permits per application. There will be a $3 processing and convenience fee added to the total transaction (not each permit) which is collected by the permitting system vendor. The applicant will also be responsible for any associated credit card processing fees charged by their card company, which are generally very nominal. Though the permit cost is increasing slightly, Sheriff Bowman feels that increase is offset by the savings that citizens will have by avoiding the need to drive to the Sheriff’s Office several times to complete the process. Even at this slightly higher total cost, Alexander County gun permits will still remain below the cost of some nearby counties that charge up to $10 per permit.
For citizens who do not have internet access at home, Sheriff Bowman plans to offer an application kiosk in the Sheriff’s Office lobby where citizens can apply and pay for permits. Citizens who prefer not to use the credit card payment option may still pay cash in person at the Sheriff’s Office and receive a “coupon code” that will allow them to complete the application online. As with any new service, Sheriff Bowman asks that the citizens of Alexander County be patient as both they and his staff adjust to using this new system.
In the near future, Sheriff Bowman plans to implement an online Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) application and permitting system patterned after the gun permit system. The CCW system will feature a scheduling module that will allow the applicant to schedule a specific day and time for them to pick up their completed documentation and permit once approved. This will greatly reduce the time it takes for applicants to complete this process while allowing staff to work on pending applications at their own pace. This same scheduling system will eventually be implemented for persons needing fingerprinting services for job applications hopefully eliminating the long wait times some have experienced for this service.