Phelps County residents can now receive concealed carry permits through the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department. After being notified of the change in procedure at the end of August, permits will now longer be issued by the Department of Revenue.
“We have made the change and now offer permits in this office. They just come in here with their information and we can print their permit for them. We offer five-year permits; the old one was only three. It now costs $50, the three-year permits were $35, but they get two extra years,” Phelps County Sheriff Rick Lisenbe explained.
The process has always involved the sheriff to review the application, taking proof of firearm courses, handling background checks, and having files on applicants, but previously the official permits were issued by the Department of Revenue through its driver’s licensing offices.
The sheriff’s department will eventually purchase equipment that will allow for photo identification cards, similar to a driver’s license, but that will come later. As of now, the department is ready for the new process and has taken steps to avoid any time lapse before residents could receive their permits.
“We got together a few months ago and held a meeting with other local sheriffs. We all wanted to do it the same way and this was the easiest way to get it up and running quickly,” Lisenbe said. “We did quite a bit anyway. We would work their application to see if they were qualified or had any convictions that would not allow them to have a permit. ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) sends that information to me and I can issue the permits. It will really make it a lot easier.”
The issuance time should not be affected and could even save residents time from having to drive across town for the permit.
When the Department of Revenue handled the permit process, it came under scrutiny after it started keeping electronic copies of concealed carry documents. Legislators chose to move the issuance to local sheriffs’ offices as an alternative. The Sheriff’s Department is located at 500 West 2nd Street in Rolla.