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Concealed Carry Applications Skyrocketing

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COMANCHE Okla_ If you're looking to get or renew a concealed carry license, you may have a long wait ahead.

The OSBI said the process can take anywhere from 60 to 90 days, but with a recent influx of applications, some cases have taken even longer. With a grace period of only 30 days, this is causing a problem for some local residents.

View and print an application here.

It's been nearly 4 months for James Churchman of Comanche. His license expired in the middle of January, so he turned in his renewal application in the middle of December. With the grace period, that's 60 days before expiration, which he thought was enough time. As he's finding out now though, that's not necessarily the case.

Churchman said he has a lot to protect. His wife, Gail, and great granddaughter, Leighton, are the top priority.

"The only reason I got the license in the first place is for protection," Churchman said. "I got it for personal protection and protection for my family. When you're not allowed to do that, it is frustrating."

Before he goes to town, Churchman usually takes his gun and puts it in his truck. That hasn't been the case for nearly two months.

"I do not carry," Churchman said. "You are strictly illegal if you do not have a license after the 30 days grace."

Churchman said that's a huge inconvenience. He and his wife have called OSBI at least 6 times, while the agency did return their phone calls, nothing was ever resolved.

OSBI's PIO Jessica Brown said the OSBI received nearly 6,000 applications in January of this year alone. That number is up from a usual 500 or so per month. She said it is an enormous amount, and they are doing everything in their power to go through them as quickly as possible.

"OSBI has hired more people to do that job," Brown said. "We have an overnight list of people who are working on it."

Brown said she has even been asked to help with applications one day per week.

"We have people in every division, except for our investigative division, working on the Self Defense Act process of applications," Brown said.

Churchman was quick to be understanding of their heavy load but wishes they could make a few changes to understand the positions of him and others as well.

"If they were going to take that long, they should give you 60 to 90 days grace," Churchman said.

After all, his family is his top priority, and he always wants to make sure they are safe. OSBI called Churchman shortly after our 7News crew left the interview Monday, and they said they had mailed both he and his wife's renewals on March 15th. They said they must've been lost in the mail. The OSBI assured him they would put two new renewals in the mail today. Hopefully, he will get those later this week.

Jennifer Brown said you should send in your renewal application more than a month in advance, and six months advance is best.

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