From Oshkosh News (thenorthwestern.com)
As deadlines to process concealed carry applications approach, the state Department of Justice says its resources are being stretched to the limit.
The DOJ has been asking employees to work overtime and is pulling employees from other units to assist the firearms unit, which is responsible for processing the applications.
About 24 people from other units work on processing concealed carry applications at any given time, in addition to the 11 employees in the firearms unit, DOJ spokeswoman Dana Brueck said.
Workers are checking that applications are complete, have related documents and do not note a felony conviction.
The state Legislature provided the department with enough funding to hire one full-time employee and 10 part-time employees, who would work from November to March, to process applications. That wasn't enough, Brueck said.
"We have shifted people to (process applications) from other areas due to the lack of personnel provided … and due to the aggressive deadlines under which we need to process applications for this brand new program," Brueck said.
The Legislature allowed the DOJ 45 days to process applications submitted between Nov. 1 and Dec. 1. The department has 21 days to process applications received after Dec. 1.
During the first two weeks of December, the DOJ received an average of 860 applications each day it received mail. The department had received 55,747 applications as of Dec. 11, Brueck said.
Some of the employees brought in were part of the department's Handgun Hotline unit, which approves the sale of handguns. Gun dealers must call the hotline before they sell a handgun, and the hotline must respond to calls within 48 hours.
Because some people are being asked to assist the firearms unit, fewer employees are available to respond to calls, which have increased by 52.9 percent over last year. November was the hotline's busiest month on record with 10,656 calls — an average of 400 calls per day, Brueck said.
The addition of 11 new part-time employees will help alleviate the strain, Brueck said. The new employees are expected to join the firearms unit from January through the end of June.
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The initial 10 part-time employees will finish working with the department in March. Afterward, the department hopes to have 14½ positions filled — including two employees in information technology who will work to streamline the application process and "provide a more user-friendly experience" for applicants, Brueck said.
Despite the current lack of personnel and influx of applications, the department so far has been able to meet all deadlines, Brueck said.
"We're meeting our deadlines, and that is our goal," she said. "People are working long hours and working weekends. All applications received before Dec. 1 will be processed within the 45-day timeframe."
The deadline to process the 145 applications submitted on Nov. 1 was Friday, but the agency already had approved 123 permits on the same day they were received. Applications submitted during the first few weeks after the law took effect must be processed in the next few weeks.
Applications submitted after Dec. 1 must be processed within 21 days, and the shorter timeframe might be more difficult to meet, Brueck said.
"Those (applications) that fall within the 21-day deadline … will be more of a challenge, but we are doing everything we can to meet that deadline and to ensure they're processed in as timely a fashion as possible," she said. "It's too early to say that there will be issues, but we're conscious of the short turn-around time."
It can take the DOJ at least one or two weeks to process an application that includes all the required documentation. But some applicants' background checks require the department to ask for information from a court system.
"For apps that generate hits in the background check, we have to do further investigation and can't always control the time," Brueck said.
The DOJ had processed 25,117 applications as of Dec. 11 — about 45 percent of all applications received. Of the processed applications, 24,821 were approved and 296, about 1.2 percent, were denied.
Most of the denials were because of mismatching addresses in the applications, Brueck said.
"Almost all of those denials have been due to an address mismatch, which means the address on the application doesn't match the address on file" with the state Department of Transportation, she said. "When that happens, the applicant is notified. If the situation is resolved, that application is then returned to the front of the pile, so to speak."
Fewer than 24 of the denials were because of criminal records that disqualified the applicant from receiving a permit, Brueck said.
Disqualifications include felony convictions or being prohibited from possessing a weapon as a condition of bail. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and show proof of firearms training.
For applications missing documentation, such as the payment of $50 or proof of training, the application is sent back to the applicant, but he or she can reapply, Brueck said.
Sounds as if the DOJ's press statement confirms what most people have already known. I'm wondering if the pace of applications continues as such will it effect the 21 day turn around people even more than those of us with the 45??
Not sure. but, even though I mailed all required docs from Sparta on 11/1/11 - check cashed 11/15/11 - no permit received yet - despite that, it seems that DOJ is making a sincere effort to do all they can! I'm not complaining, jusy a bit sad that mine wasn't processed sooner. The article mentions it takes 1 to 2 weeks to complete processing yet they processed/approved? 123 of the 145 apps they rec'd on 11/1/11 - APPROVED ON THE FIRST DAY! I'm a bit confused how those processed in one day if it takes 1 to 2 weeks per application. Sure wish id driven to Madison and had been number 146 received on 11/1/11 instead of one of 10,000 received by 11/4/11! That said, I'm still feeling they are doing what they can. Wish thy had put info out sooner like was in this article! I think that would have made people feel much better about the process, as it has for me. I also like the IT types being hired to improve the process and make t ore user friendly. In retrospect, it would have been better to hire them last July! Maybe they should have hired a PR person to gt this info out to the news sooner and maybe Forums like this too. Oh well, water over the damn now!
Originally Posted by WD54241
BTW, only 24 denials out of 25,117 applications submitted is remarkable.
Originally Posted by TGP
resent a new application with the proper training document I just recieved from a 5 hour class on ccw. I must say that I am glad I took the class and left there with information on how and when it is appropriate to use deadly force and by all means do what ever it takes to avoid having to do so. Also the legal aspects of before and after a confrontation. I will only add that I have no doubt that some people that have used hunter safety to obtain ccw are not prepared for the huge responsibility involved along with possibly being used in the future as an example in wis courts for actual ccw training. I believe this will happen soon when some john wayne wanna be who took hunter safety as a kid and now has a ccw permit violates the law or shoots grandma due to not knowing the laws. I am a former FFL and thought I knew quite a lot concerning ccw however I left that class with a whole new respect for Proper CCW Training. thanks for listining.
I'll put my 2 cents in, I suspect the DOJ did not anticipate that the bill would pass let alone be signed so quickly by the Gov. Government be it state level or federal level never has nor will it ever operate at a quick pace unless it's of a strategic importance. I think they are doing the best they can to play catch up since day one. Like a dog chasing it's tail.
Great commentary! Where did you get the training?
Originally Posted by upnorth
I believe you are right. That said, government does do some things very well when good managers are in place. I retired frin USINS in Dec 2004. I was the Area Port Director for INS at LAX in Los Angles and the Assistant District Director for Inpections for the Los Angeles District of USINS. I was there on 9/11 as the APD and had 400 Inspectors working for me. Talk about responding to an emergency! But, we did amazingly well while at the same time did not shut don te lines of people and cargo entering the US at LAX and the Long Beach seaport. It required a great deal thought and process change and it ad to be done immediately. But, we did it and not another terrorist event has happened in the past 10 years from any terrorist entering through LAX or any other ajor US airport for that fact.
Originally Posted by WD54241
Better process engineering and some good PR efforts between 7/1/11 and 11/1/11 would have made a world of difference and would likely have eliminated or greatly reduced much of the animosity and frustration by the public as is apparent in hs forum, even from me!
Originally Posted by TGP
Maybe tomorrow there will be good news in my mailbox. I have since applied for CCWs from Utah and Florida. Florida has cashed the check, Utah has not. Utah may reject my application since I didn't have my Wisconsin CCW to include. Since I have a California short term, visiting family & friends, address they may still process it. Time will tell!
Have a growth day and Merry Christ-filled Christmas & Happy New Year to all!
I'm sorry but your statement about John Wayne wanna be sounds just like many anti gun people who have fought against ccw in wisconsin. If sombody has the disposition to shoot Grandma there is something wrong other than not knowing the law. No amount of training is going to fix that. I used my hunters safty for training and I am well aware of the laws and right or wrong. I am here soaking up the knowledge plus I'm a member of uscca. You labeled many upstanding law abiding citizens here and I find it offensive.
Originally Posted by upnorth
I agree. Its up to the individual to decide if they need more training. I am well aware of the laws and the ramifications if i make a mistake. I think the law was written correctly.
Originally Posted by rugerdog77
After checking the mail for two weeks straight, it arrives the 1st day I was out of town. Dog sitter left me a nice surprise!
Originally Posted by SFK
Happy days mine came yesterday.
I also agree with good CCW training I believe that itmis a must have for any gun owner not just CCW folks.