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March 28, 2013

Firearm permits go electronic to expedite process

Electronic fingerprints also required in May.

LOGANSPORT — Firearms permits will now all be electronic in an effort to speed up the application process, according to the Indiana State Police.

Starting this week, all firearms applications will be submitted electronically, though applicants will still have to go in to their local enforcement agencies to pay local fees. Fingerprints will be required to be electronic starting May 15.

Sergeant Ron Galaviz with the Indiana State Police said the electronic version has been in place for a couple years, alongside the paper version. But there were differences between the two versions, he said, and the police wanted one application that covered everything.

“The impetus behind going fully electronic was that the paper application was lacking some things that the electronic version was incorporating,” Galaviz said.

Galaviz said the police have estimated that 90 percent of the applications they received were already electronic.

With the electronic application, applicants will fill out forms online and then receive a number, which they’ll bring to their law enforcement agency. They will still have to pay local fees at the office, Galaviz said.

All fingerprinting will be done electronically starting in May, which Galaviz said should speed up the application process overall.

“I think again the hope is to over the course of time, especially after May, some of these processes will start shortening,” Galaviz said.  

Again, Galaviz said he believed 70 to 75 percent of finger-printing was already done electronically.

At the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Randy Pryor said going electronic speeds up the process for them, because they have less paperwork and won’t have to take physical fingerprints.

He said his department receives the records electronically and then conducts a criminal records check before sending them on to the state police.

Applicants should get electronically fingerprinted at the Four County Counseling Center or the Galveston Police Department before bringing their numbers to their local law enforcement agency, Pryor said.

The department had a rush of applicants at the beginning of 2013, but Pryor said it has gone down to receiving a few applications a day.

“It has calmed down a little bit,” Pryor said.

Applications using electronic fingerprints currently should be received 10 to 12 weeks from the date the money order was cashed, according to the Indiana State Police. Paper fingerprint cards and applications are taking 15 to 17 weeks from when the money was cashed.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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