Officials clarify details on concealed carry permit law

Published 8:17 am Monday, July 15, 2019

State Representative Timothy Hill and Carter County Constable Ken Potter confirmed Wednesday potential gun owners will, indeed, be able to take an online course in order to obtain their concealed carry permit.

Hill said the new regulations will go into effect no earlier than January 1 of next year. Online classes will not be accepted until that point.

“When I talked to the Department of Safety, they said they had not even received submissions yet, and they will not even look at them until January 1,” Hill said.

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The online course requirement comes from Amendment 1 of the House Bill 1264, sponsored by Representative Andy Holt.

Specifically, the amendment talks about what counts as proof of competence with a handgun, including “completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or online course, that: is conducted by a firearms instructor who is certified by the state or an organization specializing in firearms training and safety; and meets the qualifications established by the department pursuant to subsection.”

Another detail of the new law came from Potter, who said it will now be easier to renew their permits.

“Another thing they are going to be able to do is renew their gun permit at the county clerk’s office,” Potter said. “Before they only had the one place you could do that.”

Hill said the new law radically changes the mentality surrounding gun permits in the state.

“It is going to change the face of the way we do handgun carry permits,” he said.

Despite this, however, he said he believes the overall effect on the number of permit-carriers will not drastically change.

“I still think the majority of people are going to go through the eight-hour course with the range time and the more traditional standard,” he said.

Further, he said the online course will most likely look similar to the hunter safety education course, which he described as difficult and takes around six hours to complete. Even with that in mind, he said there are no immediate details yet on what the online courses for carry permits would even look like.

“It is still very much under development,” Hill said.