Oregonians filing for concealed carry permits may face months of wait-time, according to a recent report by KOIN. Gun safety trainers say they are seeing more demand for safety skills courses in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties.
“I was doing maybe one or two classes a week at the beginning of everything,” said Bryan Mumford, CEO and lead instructor of PDX Arsenal. “I’m doing three or four now.”
Mumford said he believes uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, and discussions of defunding police might be among the factors driving the interest in gun safety classes, but he also mentioned he doesn’t discuss politics with his students.
“That’s one thing that we don’t ever bring up in class is politics or things like that,” Mumford said.
KOIN reported that Multnomah County saw 692 new applications in June 2020 compared to their average of 316 applications per month – a more than 45 percent increase.
Gaining a concealed carry permit involves an in-person application at the applicant’s county Sheriff’s office. Due to guidelines intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19, county offices may be seeing fewer applicants. For example, the Benton County Sheriff’s office sees concealed carry applicants by appointment only.
As of June 20, permit renewals also require an in-person interview.
To acquire a concealed carry permit, applicants must complete a handgun safety training course before applying in person at their local county sheriff’s office. In addition, applicants must meet other criteria including:
- Having passed a background check checking for criminal convictions, outstanding arrests, and some mental health factors like having been committed to the Oregon Health Authority under ORS 426.130.
- Being at least 21 years of age.
- Providing documents verifying US citizenship (a valid US passport OR a birth certificate issued by Vital Statistics) or written proof intent to become a citizen.
By Samantha Sied