Residents of Wake County can now apply online for a permit to own a hand gun or to carry one concealed. Instead of going into an office, they can fill out the permit application and pay the fee online.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the online service makes the process more user-friendly, but just as safe as before.
“We do the same background checks. Concealed carry, we do the same background checks, plus we'll go through mental health. And we verify it is the person, when they come down. In concealed carry, of course, they have to come down and take fingerprints,” Harrison said. “So, there's nothing gonna change there. It's just the convenience of being able to fill the paperwork out before coming down and have to stand in line.”
Harrison explains that the applicant must show-up in person with a valid ID before they'll actually be given the permit.
Permitium is the software company that operates the county application program. Spokesman Ron Christian said Wake is the 26th county in the state using their program to process gun applications. Guilford County launched its service in December.
Guilford County Sheriff's Captain Ken Whitesell says application numbers have remained pretty steady, though more than half of applicants opt to fill out the forms online. He says the online forms are easier to read accurate than hand-written applications.
Whitesell said he doesn’t see the harm in making it easier for people to apply for a handgun permit.
“There's the law-abiding citizens who go the proper way to get a permit and to buy a gun, and then there's the ones who are gonna get a gun, whether they get a permit or not,” he said. “So, my thinking on it is, the ones that do not need to have a handgun, we're gonna weed them out. And people who are law-abiding citizens who want to purchase one, it just makes it more convenient to do so.”
Ron Chirstian said Permitium's program also notifies counties if an applicant's gun permit has been revoked in another participating county.