Wisconsin’s Attorney General says getting out the first round of concealed carry permits on time could be difficult.
The Department of Justice has 45 days to process applications that come in during the first month of the new concealed carry law, which took effect a week ago. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen told lawmakers on Tuesday that could be a tough deadline to meet.
The agency received over 25,000 permit applications in the first week. So far, about 1,700 have been approved. DOJ says the application form has been downloaded from its website over 464,000 times since it went online last Tuesday.
Van Hollen says technology issues have slowed them down some because permits and background checks currently have to be done manually. He says that can be a very time consuming process.
A lack of manpower is also a problem. The concealed carry law created one full time position at DOJ to handle concealed carry and authorized 10 additional limited term employees. The agency also has 35 staff members from other areas within the department spending at least part of their days processing applications. Van Hollen says he could easily use about 70 to 80 more people, but he only has so many staff he can move around.
Despite the time crunch, Van Hollen is not asking for additional resources at this time. He says they want to meet the statutory requirements, and staff is working diligently to roll out permits as fast as they can.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:06)