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Record number of Floridians apply for concealed weapon licenses in October

Posted at 10:23 AM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 10:23:59-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — October saw the highest number of concealed weapon license (CWL) applications in Florida history, with nearly 40,000 new applications received.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), there were 38,349 new CWL applications received in October in addition to 8,590 CWL renewal applications.

FDACS has received at least 36,000 new CWL applications every month since July 2020, with the department projected to process a record 305,043 new applications and 143,749 renewal applications in 2020.

Right now, the agency is currently processing approximately 10,000 CWL applications per week, and the average wait time for processing is 42-43 days.

FDACS said that they are taking several steps to reduce application review times and customer phone and chat wait times.

“While we’ve reduced initial review times up to 98 percent, we can’t rest on that success. With record-high application volume, we’re processing more than 10,000 concealed weapons license applications each week, but we know increased wait times can be frustrating," said Commissioner Nikki Fried. "That’s why we’re hiring more staff and further streamlining our processes to reduce both application review times and customer service times. And of course, we’re ensuring every applicant gets the full background check required by law.”

In 2019, FDACS received 202,698 new CWL applications, a monthly average of 16,891. In 2018, FDACS received 188,900 new CWL applications, a monthly average of 15,741.