I had the oppurtunity to see/tour the AZ DPS CCW Unit today with the supervisor Donna Street . I was really impressed with what they have to do with as little as they got! The office space is smaller than my living room/kitchen area in my house!!!!
Anyways,,,,, They have only 5 people that work the AZ CCW unit total after the AZ State budget cut backs (they used to have 10 to 12 people). I saw a couple thousand applications in various stages of completion.
Here is the application process, The application is mailed or dropped off at DPS. It is then gathered and bundled in accordance to when they received them (in regards to the date they received them). It then goes to an opening station, where the packet is checked to see that all documents needed are with the application and stamped with the date it is checked (this is when the 75 days starts, not when you mailed it in or took your class). If not it is sent to the rejection area to be returned to the applicant. After the opening area, it goes to the entry area to be entered into the system and it is run thru various systems such as NCIC, ACIC, III, ect.
The print cards are bundled and taking to the FBI to have the FBI check run on them. This is where everything has to wait till they get the FBI info back from them and check to see that everything meets the minimum requirements. 2 print cards are required to be sent in! If 1 should be deemed as unclassifiable, then the second one is immediately ready to be used. If the second one is also unusable (which can and will happen for multiple reasons) an FBI name check is then conducted and this process takes approx 4 to 6 weeks to complete. When DPS sends a name to the FBI check it is faxed to them only, this is the same fax number that Firearms dealers use also. So you can imagine how many faxes it most likley gets.
There were approx 1,200 applications in a special area that needed to be looked at due to having file stops placed on them from the backround checks. A filestop means the application had a hit for various reasons, example: Felony charges, DV's, sound a like names, ect.... These applicants have to be looked at again to see what popped up, which is a time consuming process.
I saw a stack of FBI return info on applicants that was approx 3,500 pages thick, the printer consistantly prints out this info. The 3,500 pages I saw was from the last fridays entry's alone. These pages have to be checked one by one, page by page....
I also saw approx 533 CCW permit cards that were currently being printed out, in order to mail out to waiting applicants (I recognized several names that went thru my classes). These also have to be inserted by hand into waiting envelopes. I also saw a lot of applications that only had 1 print card sent in. When only 1 card is sent in and they (AZ DPS) has to resend another one, this can add approx 2 to 3 weeks to the wait time.
There had to be approx 10,000 + print cards and applications waiting to be destroyed, DPS is required to destroy all applications, print cards and envelopes from prior completed applicants. They can not hold to them....
With only five people doing the CCW process they work each step a little at a time. One person would do opening today and then data entry tomorrow. There was a file cabnet with quite a few un-opened applications sorted out by the date they received them. I can see this process being a minimum of 9 to 10 people at least in order to operate effeciently! From what I saw, they are truley doing what they can with what they got! Specially since CCW permit app's are way up and they were forced by the Gov to reduce thier work force.....
As of this posting they were entering applications received on June 9th.
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