Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam today announced plans to eliminate the exorbitant wait for a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit appointment by July 1, 2021. Currently, appointments are booked through March 2022.
“Let me be clear, there is no excuse for getting this far behind,” said Sheriff Balaam. “We’ve let the people of Washoe County down and we have let ourselves down. As to how we got here, some of it is the fact that we closed Administrative Services down for ten weeks in 2020 due to COVID-19; some if it is getting used to working with new software and some of it is just the sheer increase in the number of people purchasing guns and applying for a CCW.”
Of the more than 4,000 appointments currently booked for a CCW permit – 28% are renewal applications and 72% are new applications.
Starting the first week of March, and for a period of three weeks, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Services Division will open Fridays and Saturdays solely for CCW permit appointments. (Normal hours of operation are Monday-Thursday.) Appointment durations have been reduced from 45 minutes per appointment to 30 minutes. This immediate move allows for 78 more appointments per week.
By April an additional two stations will be set up in the Administrative Services Division. Two Washoe County Sheriff’s Office staff members will be reallocated from other areas within the agency to solely process CCW permits Monday-Thursday. Once these two positions are created, the Administrative Services Division will continue to open operations on Fridays and all staff will solely process CCW permits on Fridays. This initiative will create 182 additional CCW appointments per week compared to current standards.
“Again, there is no excuse for getting this far behind. We are implementing solutions and we’ve imposed a July first deadline of eliminating the current backlog. We are also reevaluating the efficiency of only processing CCW permits by appointment.
“I know that for people with expired permits, this is small consolation. For those people and for those who cannot get an appointment to apply for a CCW for months, I apologize. I understand your frustration. We are working through the problem and if the steps we are taking don’t help, we will take more.”
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office personnel will be calling current appointment holders to reschedule those to an earlier timeframe. Those renewing their CCW will be contacted first, and then staff will call first time applicants.
“This backlog is unacceptable. That is why I have implemented new workflows and have shifted staff in order to try and solve this problem as soon as we can,” said Sheriff Balaam. “To the citizens of Washoe County, I apologize, and we will work to regain your trust.”