Record Number of Concealed Weapons License Applications Filed in Florida History
By Space Coast Daily // December 17, 2020
38,349 new CWL applications received
10,000 concealed weapons license applications are being processed per week
With Florida concealed weapons license applications reaching record-high volume in recent months, State of Florida officials announced they are taking measures to ensure continued strong customer service.
October 2020 saw the highest number of concealed weapons license applications in Florida history, with 38,349 new CWL applications received in addition to 8,590 CWL renewal applications.
FDACS has received at least 36,000 new CWL applications every month since July 2020, with the department projected to process a record 305,043 new applications and 143,749 renewal applications in 2020.
FDACS is currently processing approximately 10,000 concealed weapons license applications per week.
In 2019, FDACS received 202,698 new CWL applications, a monthly average of 16,891. In 2018, FDACS received 188,900 new concealed weapons license applications, a monthly average of 15,741.
Applications typically increase in presidential election years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has likely driven higher application volume.
Review Times: Upon taking office in 2019, Fried prioritized background checks and reducing CWL application review times, which under the prior administration were as high as 88 days for applicants with prior arrests or prosecutions.
Under new leadership, the Division of Licensing reduced initial review times by up to 98 percent for new applications. Due to the historic volume of applications, the current review time for applications in verification (those with a criminal history) is 42 days, and applications in processing (those without criminal history) is 43 days.
Customer Service Times: With dramatically increased application volume and increased calls to the Division of Licensing, some customers are experiencing longer than normal wait times for telephone and online chat support.
The Division of Licensing offers live telephone, live web chat, and a callback service that allows customers to be called back in the order in which they called.
Current average wait times are:
■ Live Telephone Support: 30 minutes, 18 seconds
■ Live Online Chat Support: 36 minutes, 38 seconds
■ Callback: Customers typically receive a call back within 1 hour, 49 minutes
Once in contact with an FDACS customer service agent, most customers are currently served, on average, in 4 minutes, 6 seconds. During the past month, the Division of Licensing assisted 68,605 customers through telephone and online chat.
Under Chapter 790, Florida Statutes, FDACS oversees the state’s concealed weapons licensing program, which leads the nation with more than 2 million license holders.
Concealed weapons license applicants may apply online, by mail, at participating county tax collector locations, or at an FDACS Division of Licensing regional office.