Orange County supervisors today approved more resources for the sheriff's department to handle a flood of new applications for concealed weapon permits following a recent court ruling making it easier to get a permit.
County officials estimate they have a backlog of more than 600 applications to sift through. With existing staff it could take until next March to process them all, officials say.
The plan approved by board will have 15 retirees who are already on staff working part-time to pick up additional hours to process the applications this fiscal year. The time has already been budgeted and is not expected to cost the county extra, but that could change next fiscal year if the level of applications continues at its current pace.
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens told the board she expects the pace to slow.
"I think this initial rush is... because the law has been changed," Hutchens said. "I think that will level out at some point."
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling last month making it easier to apply for the concealed-carry weapons permits. Attorney General Kamala Harris has petitioned the full appellate court to review the 2-1 ruling.
--City News Service