I’ve written quite a bit here in the past couple of days about the number of sheriffs’ offices and local courts that are temporarily suspending the approval of concealed carry licenses, not because of any attempt to disarm citizens, but to protect the deputies and court workers so that the system can function during the coronavirus pandemic and the current attempts to flatten the curve of new cases.
One sheriff’s office in West Virginia is trying to find a good middle ground between protecting the front-facing staff and deputies and ensuring that people can still at least renew their concealed carry license. The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office says it will continue processing concealed carry renewals, but only through the mail.
Beginning March 19, the access door to the sheriff’s office lobby will be closed to non-essential personnel, except in emergencies, according to a press release. Fingerprinting will also be temporarily suspended for the general public.
The sheriff’s office said new concealed carry applications will not be accepted until further notice because of personal contact with personnel. Renewal of concealed carry permits will be done only by mail, which will require anyone doing so to send a money order for payment of any fees. Questions on this process can be directed to 304-291-7260.
There is at least one sheriff still accepting concealed carry applications at the moment. The Montgomery County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office is still accepting applications and renewals for concealed carry, but the office has shifted to an appointment-only system to limit the number of people inside the building and in contact with employees.
Perhaps the easiest and simplest solution would be for the governors of all 50 states to announce that expiring concealed carry licenses will be extended an additional 90 days, or 60 days after the issuing authority begins processing applications and renewals again. Of course, there are plenty of anti-gun governors who might balk at such a step, but at a time when Los Angeles is letting inmates out early and the Legal Aid Society of New York is calling for an end to all arrests in the city during the pandemic, it seems silly for any gun control supporter to seriously argue that we should be arresting and locking up individuals for carrying with an expired license.