Virginia – -(Ammoland.com)- Arlington County Virginia currently holds the dubious record for taking the longest time to issue CHPs in the Commonwealth.
In fact, it is so bad that when a person applies for a new or a renewed permit, the Circuit Court Clerk's office will tell the applicant up front that their permit will not be ready in 45 days! The applicant gets a temporary permit after the 45 days are up, with their actual permit being issued in around 60 days or more!
Last Wednesday I arranged a meeting with the Arlington County Circuit Court Clerk, Paul Ferguson, and the Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney, Theo Stamos, at the Arlington County Court House Complex to address the issue.
Both brought their assistants who deal with issuing permits to the meeting.
I had no idea what to expect, considering that the Arlington County government is generally not all that friendly to gun owners.
However, my reading was that both Ms. Stamos and Mr. Ferguson sincerely wanted to get to the bottom of the situation.
The meeting lasted an hour.
I started by pointing out that Fairfax has a vastly larger population than Arlington, but they manage to crank out CHPs in well under the 45-day limit.
One of the highlights was when Ms. Stamos asked Mr. Ferguson how many of the CHP applicants had their permits delayed past the 45-day limit. One of Mr. Ferguson's assistants replied;
“All of them.” Ms. Stamos, looking surprised, replied, “That is unacceptable!” To which I said, “Yes! I wouldn't have bothered everybody if this was something that happened only once in a while.”
I asked Mr. Ferguson if issuing those temporary permits used up a lot of employee time, to which he said emphatically that it did.
During the discussions it turned out that the Commonwealth Attorney's office took about one week to process applications and the Clerk took about a week. The excessive time (5 weeks or so) was clearly the police running the background check! Something that should only have taken a few minutes in most cases.
So, worst case, if the Commonwealth Attorney took one week, the Clerk took one week, and the police took one week, a person should get their CHP issued within 3 to 4 weeks at the latest, not double that number!
The meeting wrapped up with Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Stamos agreeing to talk to their liaison with the police department to determine why there was such a long holdup and what could be done to remedy it.
Mr. Ferguson told me that hopefully things would be straightened out and running smoothly before January.
I will keep everyone apprised as I learn more.
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.