First-time handgun license applications jump

July 8, 2008 4:00:05 AM PDT
More than 52,000 people in Texas have submitted an application for a first-time concealed handgun license or renewal since the beginning of the year, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. That is an almost 5 percent increase over the first six months of 2007, but there's a good chance they'll have a bit of a wait.

The crunch which some say is spurred by concerns about rising crime, the state's new "castle law" and uncertainty about future gun laws has created a ballooning backlog of applications for the department.

"Can you imagine if it was a driver's license and someone says you just can't drive?" said Alice Tripp, legislative director for the Texas State Rifle Association in a story in Tuesday's online edition of The Dallas Morning News.

DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said the average wait for new applicants is between 80 and 90 days for their licenses; renewals are taking about 70 to 80 days to process. By law, new applications should take no more than 60 days and renewals 45 days to process unless a required background check raises any flags.

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