WEST ALLIS -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice says its resources are being stretched to the limit as it rushes to meet deadlines for processing applications for concealed carry gun permits. The Wisconsin Legislature gave the DOJ enough funding to hire one more full-time employee, and 10 more part-time employees to process applications, and while the DOJ says that hasn't been enough, so far they've been able to meet their deadlines.
The Wisconsin Legislature gave the department 45 days to process applications submitted between Nov. 1 and Dec. 1. The Department of Justice has 21 days to process applications received after Dec. 1. The department had received nearly 56,000 applications as of Dec. 11.
Meanwhile, inside the Shooter's Shop in West Allis, all some customers want for Christmas is the right to carry a concealed weapon, but they can't carry that weapon until they have a permit. The DOJ says they've received about 60,000 applications since the Wisconsin concealed carry law took effect, and have granted about 25,000 permits.
Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen says the big backlog in processing the applications has forced shifting of resources toward permit approval in the DOJ. "We've actually asked for more funding, to actually hire more people," Van Hollen said. Van Hollen says he expects the money will be granted to hire more people to process these applications, but says he doesn't guarantee permits will necessarily be delivered by Christmas. "It's the Christmas Syndrome, kind of like the new gift you're waiting to come in the mail," Van Hollen said.
The DOJ says they're being very careful, and will only fire off a permit if everything is on target.
Wisconsin Concealed Carry Application