That’s right. It’s actually faster (not to mention way more fun) to make a baby than it is to acquire a concealed carry license in Wayne County, Michigan these days. Fox 2 in Detroit recently highlighted the problem, pointing out that in suburban Macomb and Oakland counties, concealed carry applications are being processed in one to two weeks. In Wayne County, however, folks applying for their concealed carry license are being told the county will get with them in mid-2021.
“I’m a single woman, I’m a homeowner, I’m an entrepreneur,” said Kristal Hunt. “(I am a) businesswoman who frequents a location constantly late at night, so with those factors – all those together, it’s like ok, now it’s time to protect myself.”
And that’s why Hunt took a Concealed Pistol License class, though it will be months before she ever carries one. The Wayne County Clerk’s office has been slow on the draw in the permits allowing residents to carry a concealed handgun.
Applicants can only complete the process by appointment, because of the pandemic. But getting one is an exercise in patience.
FOX 2: “So this is your appointment here?”
“Yes, Monday, July 12, 2021,” Hunt said.
Obviously this issue isn’t a problem just in Detroit. We’ve previously reported on similar wait times for FOID cards and concealed carry licenses in Illinois, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as huge delays in several counties in Washington State, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.
Lisa Williams, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Clerk’s Office says furloughs and displacements as well as an increase in demand for Concealed Pistol Licenses, are driving the long wait times.
She provided a statement which reads in part:
“Wayne County is the largest county in the state of Michigan. The volume that we service far surpasses that of any other county throughout the state.
Our office has taken the action step to request additional fingerprinting machines which will expedite the processing time.”
The excuses aren’t going over well with gun owners who want to be able to protect themselves outside of their home, particularly given the fact that Detroit has the highest violent crime rate of any major U.S. city. As one local attorney points out, the delays are likely leading to otherwise law-abiding gun owners breaking the law and carrying without a license.
Attorney Terry L. Johnson says the long wait time for CPL appointments in Wayne County may be to blame for another issue.
“When you look at your larger counties like Oakland and Macomb, they are two to three weeks out,” he said. “Even if Wayne County as I said before was two months out, you might be able to say, okay I can make a connection. They are nine months out. There is no excuse for this.
“The problem that we’re seeing is that people are getting their certificates after completing the training. Some of them are saying it is so bad out here, I am going to carry anyway and they can’t wait until June or July. And people are carrying firearms, albeit illegally and they are looking at five-year felonies for this.”
“I’m trying to make sure I’m safe and I’m trying to protect myself,” Hunt said. “Why are they making it hard to protect myself?”
That’s the key question, isn’t it? I appreciate the fact that Wayne County has had to furlough employees and officials want to safeguard against COVID-19 by limiting the number of applicants appearing in-person, but those factors don’t change the fact that residents in Wayne County have a right to both keep and bear arms, and at the moment that right is being denied to them through the months-long delays in processing concealed carry applications.
People should not have to choose between their safety and their liberty, but that’s exactly what individuals are facing if they want to carry a gun for self-defense; wait nine months or more to even apply for your concealed carry license, or carry without a license and risk a five-year prison sentence if caught and convicted.