Florida, as the state with the most issued permits to carry concealed firearms for personal protection, announced this week that Concealed Weapons Licenses (CWLs) in the Sunshine State may now be renewed online.
With more than 1.6 million active CWL holders, Florida surpassed the one million mark in December 2012, a threshold that also includes the populous states of Texas and Pennsylvania. More than 200,000 Florida licenses will be up for renewal in 2017, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the agency entrusted with issuing the permits.
“My goal is to make applying for or renewing a Florida concealed weapon license as convenient as possible, and this new online feature gives license holders another option when renewing,” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said in a press release issued Dec. 7.
License holders may continue to renew a concealed weapons license through the mail, as well as at 41 Tax Collectors Offices across the state or at one of the Department of Agriculture’s eight regional offices located in Doral, Fort Walton, Jacksonville, North Port, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach.
According to this week’s announcement, license holders will still be mailed a renewal notice from the department and will need the document in order to initiate the online renewal process.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services does not charge individuals a fee for mailing a renewal notice or for mailing or downloading a new application package. The department will only charge applicable license and fingerprint fees, as set by law, upon submission of the application to the department.
Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry Inc., told WUFT television this week that he was pleased with the agency’s action.
“It was one of the major problems with licenses,” he said. “People would have to take a day off from work to renew, just because the offices usually aren’t open on weekends. When you have 1.6 million people needing to renew a license every seven years, there may not be enough time in the day for everyone to get it done.”