AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas Department of Public Safety says more
than 52,000 people in the state have submitted an application for a
first-time concealed handgun license or renewal since the beginning
of the year. That's an almost 5 percent increase over the first six
months of 2007.
But, there's a good chance they'll have a bit of a wait.
The Dallas Morning News reports some say the crunch is spurred
by concerns about rising crime, the state's new "castle law" and
uncertainty about future gun laws.
As a result, there's a ballooning backlog of applications for
DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said the average wait for new
applicants is between 80 and 90 days for their licenses; renewals
are taking about 70 to 80 days to process.
By law, new applications should take no more than 60 days and
renewals 45 days to process unless a required background check
raises any flags.
In order to speed up the process, DPS is paying overtime and has
hired an additional 11 temporary employees.
Gun proponents say the ongoing delays are unacceptable
especially for those seeking renewals.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)