Riverside County Wait Time for a Gun Permit is Two Years

Two years to get a permit. About the time it takes to get an associate’s degree.

A right delayed is a right denied.

Waiting over two years for a concealed carry permit is insane. But that’s the wait time residents of Riverside County, California should expect when they submit their application, according to a recent article in Desert Sun (DS).

Why does it take so long? There are two answers. The real answer. And then the answer the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department gave the DS.

The real answer is the county’s May-Issue system. It’s garbage. To obtain a permit, one needs to schedule an in-person interview with the concealed carry unit (which consists of two deputies, two part-time employees, and an assistant). If he or she passes the interview, the applicant will need to complete a safety course and qualify with each weapon he or she plans to carry.  Fingerprinting is also required.

Due to all this red tape, the number of applications keeps piling up. The obvious thing to do would be to switch to a Shall-Issue system. Ideally, it’d be a Constitutional-Carry system. But this is California we’re talking about. Baby steps.

Stan Sniff, the Riverside County Sheriff, told the DS that the reason for the backlog was due to the lack of manpower as a result of budget limits.  What a joke.

“I think it is important that we keep issuing CCWs, but the budget really limits my ability to throttle up and handle the increased workload,” Sniff said. “Just holding our own, at this point, is about the best we can do.”

The paper described him as a “pro-gun rights Republican.” Not sure that “pro-gun” shoe fits.

SEE ALSO: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Playing Favorites with Gun Permits

Riverside County has 2 million residents. Only 3,000 have permits. Now that’s almost double the number from two years ago, when there were 1,700 active permits, but that’s still pathetic.

The current backlog is around 500 to 600 applications. Sniff reiterated that processing those in a more timely manner is contingent upon an increase in funding.

“Only when these budget issues lighten up for us, a lot of that two-year backlog will end up vaporizing,” Sniff said.  It’s almost as if he’s ransoming one’s right to bear arms for more taxpayer dollars.

There is one way for residents to shorten the wait. That is if they can prove that they are in danger. Ana Sofia Miramontes, a Jurupa Valley resident, was able to skip ahead because she has been harassed by a stalker.

“Waiting two years was a scary thought,” Miramontes said. “I really need that firearm today.”

Unless you can provide documents showing you have a stalker or similar threat, you’re going to end up like 56-year-old Steve Perkio. He’s 20 months into his wait.

“If something happens in the meantime, this is a Second Amendment opportunity to protect myself that I simply don’t have,” said Perkio.

Frustrated, Perkio contacted the sheriff for answers. Sniff gave him the same line about budget constraints.

“I appreciated his response,” Perkio said. “But it’s still very frustrating when criminals are carrying illegally and law abiding citizens have their hands tied.”

The situation in Riverside Country is completely unacceptable. Citizens should demand that the county switch to a more streamlined issuing system. And, if sheriff Sniff is as pro-gun as he claims to be, he ought to be the one leading the charge to change it.

Sniff’s job is to protect and serve the public. There’s no doubt that includes ensuring that responsible citizens have the ability to defend themselves.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Maddog3584 January 22, 2018, 1:03 am

    Headline is sensationalism and pure falsehood. It reads like it takes over two years to BUY a gun. It takes over two years to get a CCW permit. Considering how financially strapped municipalities are If I still lived in Riverside County I would rather have officers on the street than processing CCW permits. Priorities should always be keeping the citizens safe. I’m a gun owner and a veteran and the “good guy with a gun” argument is a crock of BS. If is really bothers you stop pitching a bitch when the ballot measures to raise taxes to increase police budgets come up. Everyone wants more cops but no one wants to pay it out of their pockets.

    • Uncle Stevie December 27, 2019, 8:01 pm

      Your article is two years old. We have a new sheriff and supposedly faster processing times. The CCW crew was undermanned then. Perhaps someone would consider updating the article rather than posting. The article states recent article, but January 8, 2018 is about two years old and way out of date.
      How about doing an updated check so your readers can know what is currently happening.
      The article is pretty clear that it is about carry permits not delay in purchasing.
      Anyone there doing editing and fact checking?
      we really do need an up to date evaluation of what is happening currently with the new sheriff and any changes in policy.

  • Rangemaster11B January 13, 2018, 5:35 pm

    Compare with San Bernardino County right next door. Sheriff McMahon is truly Pro 2A. The problem there is the backlog since the terrorist attack of 12/2/15.

  • Altoid January 12, 2018, 1:17 pm

    Sounds as if a number of you need to move to Arizona – CCW permits are available, but not required for concealed carry.

  • Altoid January 12, 2018, 1:16 pm

    Sounds as if a number of you need to move Arizona – CCW permits are available, but not required for concealed carry.

  • Andrew January 12, 2018, 9:44 am

    Seems like he’s using the “Concealed Handgun Licenses” as an excuse to bully for more funding.
    What an asshole.

    • DaveW January 12, 2018, 1:07 pm

      I don’t know where you live, but I do live in CA and I have some knowledge of who the good sheriffs are and who the bad ones are. This is probably a good one, as most sheriffs are. I have heard nothing negative about him, and I keep a pretty good watch on them. The financial situations in different counties do pose problems. Riverside Co is densely populated, and there are aa lot of illegals, gang members, etc., living there. There are worse counties, of course.

      Perhaps, they could have a temporary permit issued pending full approval, but, this is CA, and the state has pretty much tied the hands of gun owners and sheriffs.

  • Joe Al January 12, 2018, 9:16 am

    Why are you shocked about this, but not the fact that it has been the same way in Westchester County, New York for several years? Wait time is about 14-16 months because the County administration has cut the staff back. And getting a concealed carry permit is next to impossible. I am self employed, and have been denied a concealed carry permit because my payroll is less then $10,000.00 per week. You see, the liberal judges feel that if you have a small company, your life is not worth protecting. But if you have a big business, then welcome aboard!!

  • Cyrus January 12, 2018, 8:40 am

    In CT, and as most of you know is a very anti-gun state, the application process is relatively easy and the waiting period is never more than 6 months. The renewal is every 5 years for $75 and that is pretty easy as well . . . also, the permit is a permit to carry a Pistol and it doesn’t specify having to conceal it. Go Figure!

  • STeven January 12, 2018, 8:11 am

    I live in Riverside County and am still waiting for my interview for a CCW. I applied in December 2015, my interview is in March, 2018. Not a happy situation, and the wait is now over 2 years

  • Stefan Kahl January 12, 2018, 5:45 am

    Yeah know all about this. Suffolk County Police in New York takes two years or longer. Yet the State Penal law day must issue within six months. Reason more excuses and King Cuomo illegally denying our second amendment rights.

    • STeven January 12, 2018, 8:09 am

      I live in Riverside County, left Los Angeles in December 2015. My interview is scheduled in March 2018, three months more than two years.

  • Rusty Shackleford January 12, 2018, 4:39 am

    Well, when seconds count…do you call the cops or apply for a permit. Probably doesn’t matter. Still going to be just about as dead.

  • Mark N. January 9, 2018, 12:41 am

    Yeah yeah yeah yeah. Hey, at least he issues. Try L.A. on for size: 10 million residents, 197 permits, almost all to cops, judges, and former (retired) cops. Also recognize that in California, the permit is only good for two years, so the numbers here probably only reflect new licenses, not renewals. Although most counties do not require you to show a continued need to carry (skipping a long step), you still have to do 4 hours of mandatory training to qualify, and your app still needs to be processed.

  • Sepp W January 8, 2018, 7:36 pm

    Once again, in a liberal dystopia there are no criminals, only crime. Laws are made to abridge law-abiding citizens rights, thus impose the government’s will on the people, instead of protecting rights.
    In places like California, it’s perfectly acceptable for a thug to gun you down, invade your home and murder everyone, or get carjacked and shot in the process.
    Yessir, this is how California protects it’s citizens. Law-abiding citizens are incapable of any moral responsibility in a liberal dystopia.

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