Unexpected Bureaucratic Response

Let’s face it, when most people have to deal with government workers, they cringe. I’m one of them. From the stupid rule against water in the Social Security office to the lines & incompetence of the DMV, it’s maddening. Every once in a while, you get a surprise. Today is one of those days. My concealed carry license is ready after two days. Two freakin’ days.

Yes, I know I will get sh*t for waiting so long to get a PA license. Mostly, I forgot about getting everything for it. Then I had to remember to get all of the info for my references. Sebastian had to remember to ask one of his buddies in the county who was willing to vouch that I’m not a psycho. By the time we remembered it all, it was Monday. We swung by the county government building about an hour and a half before close, and most folks in there and calling during that time were either renewing or applying for a concealed carry license. (The next most frequent request was for a job application to work for the county sheriff. Lots of young men are out of work & swamped the office on the first day it was posted.) This morning the woman called to report that it is ready for me to pick up any time. Talk about customer service.

The only other time I’ve had such prompt service was again for a concealed carry license, but it was for my first one in Montgomery County, Virginia. I applied when I was at home for spring break, and it wasn’t ready for two weeks. The secretary who called apologized for the week plus delay because the judge who normally handled it was on vacation the week I applied. I thought that was cool.

The second state I applied in was Massachusetts. God bless the local police department who tried to speed things along, but the state held them up. I think it took them about 4 months to process mine. The thing is that the local PD wanted me to get mine quickly because they asked if I would help with training classes because of high demand and the fact that I was already an NRA certified instructor. In fact, they actually got excited when they saw that in my application packet. So I still give the local guys an A+, but the state failed.

When I renewed my Virginia permit in Fairfax County, I was told it would take at least 45 days. I pointed out to the clerk that I believed she meant to say 45 days or less. She tried to insist that it would be more than 45 days until I made clear that I knew the law required them to get me a license or denial in 45 days or less. I pointed out that Montgomery County took less than a week (not counting the judge’s vacation), and she said, “Well, we do background checks here in Virginia.” Apparently the government worker was unaware that Montgomery County is also in Virginia. And even if she only had the reference of Montgomery County, Maryland, the Old Line State also conducts background checks. I made the grumpy old lady even grumpier. Oops. I got the license on day 45.

So once again, kudos to Bucks County, Pennsylvania for great customer service. Now, I should grab a lozenge, a tissue, some hand sanitizer, and go pick it up.

15 thoughts on “Unexpected Bureaucratic Response”

  1. 2 days?

    When I lived in Luzerne Co it took 15 minutes and only that long because the female deputy was hitting on me and insisted we redo the picture because she didn’t like it.

  2. It would have taken that long if I had gone to Doylestown to get it. However, considering there’s no quick way to get there, and the local office is only about 10 minutes away, it makes since to go local.

  3. Yeah, Bucks has a system of satellite offices, where you can get your permit without having to go visit the sheriff in person. It takes a little longer from the satellite office.

    There’s really no reason for it to take that long if you pass the PICS check, which they can do in a minute.

  4. My Fairfax County experience was pleasant, and I also got my license on the 45th day. I really don’t have a problem with that. That’s the law and they complied with it. The lady at the office was very nice.

    Anyone who gripes about permit waits should try getting a permit to OWN, not carry, any kind of firearm in NYC. Then complain about a wait.

    Not to say I wasn’t amused by Fairfax waiting until the bitter end. As I recall, Fairfax was one of the counties that prompted preemption…

  5. Ed, I’ve heard mixed results on Fairfax County. I would have ranked it as polite enough for government work until she tried to sneak the “at least 45 days” bit past me. Than trying to claim that there was no Montgomery County in Virginia as she held a copy of my Montgomery County-issued permit in her hand was just icing on the cake.

    Random fact: When my license was issued, there was no identification number on it. It wasn’t a problem until the one gun-a-month fix was passed for license holders. When I went to pick up my guns from the Trophy Room, Mike didn’t know how to fill out the form to get them all since after that point, the form to transfer more than one required he put in some kind of number for my license. The State Police didn’t know what to tell him other than to verify that he should give them to me since I was exempt due to my license.

  6. References? WTF?!
    Thank God I live in TN. Well, I may be moving to FL, but I’m staying down here, anyhow.

  7. I just found out why it takes a few days. They send the completed licenses back to the satellite offices in batches. My guess is someone only runs between Doylestown & Levittown once every day or two.

  8. Oklahoma, 81 days and counting!! All I want for Christmas is my …..

    My brothers in SD couldn’t believe that. They said theirs took 10 minutes and 10 bucks.

  9. Oh, and $200 to the OSBI, $25 to the Sheriff in the County I live in, $60 for the gun safewty class and 8 hours with a group of great Americans I enjoyed getting to meet.

  10. I really feel bad for all of you. Here in my home town of Port Orchard, WA. the local sheriff has a standing policy of giving you your CC in just a few minutes. I went in to the Silverdale office and after twenty five minutes of form filling, finger printing, and a background check, I walked out with my license. No porblems and no one gripped.

  11. References? WTF?!

    It’s largely a formality. Most counties don’t call unless they have a reason to. I’d gladly have references for no training requirement and no real restrictions on where you can carry.

  12. 82 days for my address change, in-town, for the firearms purchasers ID card in NJ. Which allows me to buy longarms and handgun ammo…

    This time my references weren’t checked, but given that I got the original permit less than 3 months prior (and they DID check for that…)

    Again, it appears to have been the state’s fault, not the town’s.

  13. That’s awesome and it sure beats what I went through in rural Virginia. Even after six months I’m still waiting to calm down before I write about it.

    I think I need to move to Port Orchard, WA.

  14. Okay. I guess TN figures the background check constitutes a reference.

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