There’s some good news for people waiting for appointments to obtain their permits to carry concealed weapons.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has extended the hours for concealed-carry appointments in an effort to decrease the wait time, which is now several weeks.
Tracy Whited, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said this week that the hours of the concealed-carry licensing office has been extended because the waiting period for an appointment had grown to between six to eight weeks in some cases.
According to the sheriff’s office website, the appointment times are set for Mondays and Fridays between 8:20 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., and for Wednesdays and Thursdays between 8:20 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. Whited said the office previously opened at 8:30 a.m. and closed at 2 p.m.
The extended hours are the result of a slight reorganization within the sheriff’s office, Whited said.
Whited said a full-time records clerk, Tim Dye, was moved to the licensing office and other records clerks will be helping out occasionally, mostly to process paperwork so Dye can conduct more interviews.
Whited said the interviews typically last between 15 and 20 minutes, so the extra time at the beginning and end of the day has really made a difference.
“We’re pleased that we could provide an efficient and low-cost solution that greatly improves customer service for concealed handgun customers,” said Sheriff Russell Martin. “Without adding a full-time position, we came up with a few creative options to allow for more appointment times.”
Whited said the new hours were implemented in the last week of March and many citizens on the waiting list for appointments immediately rescheduled.
Whited said the ultimate goal of the change is to reduce to wait time to two weeks or less.
Also, the location of the licensing office has changed. The office was previously on the second floor of the sheriff’s office administration building on North Sandusky Street but has been moved to the north station which connects to the Delaware County Jail on U.S. 42.
The sheriff’s office reports that in 2013 it handled 982 new licenses and 731 renewals. In 2014 the office processed 714 new licenses and 1,047 renewals. Officials said 977 new licenses were issued in 2015, along with 850 renewals.
Dye replaces the late Pam Johnston, a longtime sheriff’s office employee who handled the concealed-carry licensing. She passed away in January.
Whited said the office handles interviews, paperwork, photographs and fingerprinting for concealed-carry applications and renewals.
More information about concealed-carry licenses can be found on the sheriff’s website — www.delawarecountysheriff.com.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.