Florida residents may now have an easier time applying for a concealed weapons permit by going to certain tax collectors’ offices. Indian River County became the first to offer the services Monday, and four more are slated to soon come online.
As part of a new law this year, local tax collectors’ offices chosen by the Florida Department of Agriculture will now have the chance to help process concealed weapon permit applications.
“Previously, you would have to mail in your application or go to one of the department’s eight regional service centers,” said agency spokeswoman Erin Gillespie. “But, although they were in major cities, that would still mean people would have to drive up to an hour or even more to turn in their application.”
By the end of October, five counties—Indian River, Highlands, Okaloosa, Pinellas, and Nassau—will receive the applications, take fingerprints, and send it on to the state Agriculture department, which will still issue the permits.
Agency spokeswoman Erin Gillespie says the hope is to not only make the tax collectors’ office a one-stop shop for driver’s licenses, tags, and taxes, but also help with the rising demand in applications.
“We do have a high rate of applications. There are more than one million current concealed license holders in Florida, and we process more than 100,000 a year,” she added.
Ten more tax collectors’ offices are expected to offer the services next year.