LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky has changed the law regarding concealed handgun permits to speed up the application process.
Prior to mid-November, applicants had to submit paperwork in person. State police had up to sixty days to conduct a criminal background check and determine whether an applicant had completed the required safety course.
Troopers granted permits to almost 60,000 Kentuckians in 2013, more than double the number from 2012. Last year, the General Assembly passed sweeping changes. Now, applicants can file online, through the state police web site.The fee is $70, compared to $60, but troopers have vowed to cut the wait time to 15 days.
The move has drawn praise from many supporters of concealed-carry, but some question whether faster processing is necessarily better.
"A lot of people we find, especially males, they want the permit as fast as possible. But they don't want to take the training," said Anthony Deveaux, a Minnesota-based safety instructor for the United States Concealed Carry Association. The USCCA demonstrated some of its course offers during the Deer and Turkey Expo at the Kentucky Exposition Center this past weekend.
"You need the training. You need to know not only how to use your handgun, but when to use it," Deveaux said. "And just as importantly, when the law says you shouldn't use it."
Lawmakers adopted the changes in part so that victims of domestic violence would be able to purchase protection and carry it legally more quickly.
"But laws and training vary so much from state to state," Deveaux said. "What's legal at home may not be when you travel somewhere else."
Deveaux favors a single nationwide standard, both for disqualifications and for qualified training.
"It's for everybody's protection," he said. "We want responsible gun ownership."