Wednesday, March 9, 2016

120 Days to Get a CCW from LVMPD? What Takes So Long?

Clark County residents are in an uproar over the closure of Metro PD’s Cameron St. fingerprint bureau and the resulting massively increased wait times at the headquarters office. For those who have applied for a concealed firearm permit, the Cameron St. location provided a relatively quick process, whereas a two hour wait (or longer) at headquarters is not uncommon.

The headquarters office on Martin Luther King Blvd. was recently remodeled to add more windows to increase the number of citizens served, exasperating citizens during the interim, some waiting over 5 ½ hours to be served. The Cameron St. location was closed to the public to create a home for the traffic bureau, which is leaving what will soon become the new Spring Valley Area Command at 8445 Eldora Ave, near Cimarron and Sahara.

The time it takes LVMPD to issue concealed firearm permits has been an extreme point of frustration for Clark County residents who have routinely been facing waits of 100-120 days for a permit to be issued. NRS 202.366 requires that the sheriff must issue a permit (or deny it) within 120 days. The number of active permits in the county have grown by approximately 6,000 in the past year and almost doubled since 2010. 58,234 permits were active in Clark County as of March 1st.

Numbers skyrocket

It wasn’t until the spring of 2013, following the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, CT, that wait times between application and issuance jumped to the three month range. Before then, the average turnaround time was about two months or less. Even with the abolition of the ‘blue card’ handgun registration system and the staff needed to administer the system being freed up in June 2015, the wait times remain in the three-to-fourth month range.

Currently, LVMPD is taking the full four months (120 days) to issue permits. A few instances of temporary permits being issued have been reported after the 120 day mark. Technically, the sheriff could issue the temporary permit on Day 1, but does not. Other states with substantially similar processes, such as Utah, are issued in half the time (Utah’s permits are administered by the state).

In theory, with the staff freed from their ‘blue card’ tasks, the numbers should decline. Except the only decline was the seasonal summer dip. Roughly 500 permits per month, for a total of about 4,000, have been issued since ‘blue cards’ were phased out. It is not known exactly how many employees process permit applications or how the exact process is performed.

One explanation for the long wait times is that more and more Nevadans are waking up to the need to defend themselves. Lt. Randy Sutton of Metro stated that there is a “secret army” of concealed carriers that terrorists and criminals need to be wary of. The surging interest for personal safety creates and obvious bottleneck that the department is ill-prepared to handle. Yet again, some improvement should have been made, at least incrementally, with the burden of ‘blue cards’ removed. Washoe County, the next largest issuer of permits, was last documented issuing at about 70 days.


As the charts indicate, the rate of permits issued does not exactly correlate with the sudden spike of applications post-Sandy Hook (Dec. 2012). The violent spike in volume would logically overwhelm staffers not used to average volume tripling. However, the application volume falls off again to about average levels before rising up to double the pre-Sandy Hook average.

If the high volume of applications burdening the staff were the problem, the wait times and application rates should correlate. Except they don’t. Volume falls way off to a level that past averages don’t justify. Clearly, the CCW detail could handle the volume in the past with a 90-day return rate. It’s not the amount of work.

More data is needed, specifically application/issuance dates to get a more uniform sample.

Wait time numbers are anecdotal, coming from various private forums where wait times are tracked. Issuance/received time is the 'Received' date used; it was impossible to tell apart issuance vs. received date in some cases based on lack of clarification. Issuance date, where explicitly listed, was used. Mailing time and weekends allows for a margin of error of 2-4 days between issuance and receipt. Stats here (spreadsheet). 

What takes so long?

Many applicants, in between fits of tearing their hair out, obsess over what takes so long for the permits to be approved. 500 permits per month would equal 25 permits per workday. What is in contention is how long it takes to work one application.

The FBI uses IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) to scan and search fingerprints for matches among criminal records. “The average response time for an electronic criminal fingerprint submission is about 27 minutes, while electronic civil submissions are processed within an hour and 12 minutes.” CT Carry has this information on their state’s process, which states the FBI response can be up to 24 hours. Clearly, while a response is pending on one set of fingerprints, other portions of application processing can be done.

Some have pointed out that other licenses, such as a real estate broker license, requires essentially the same background check process, and yet takes less than a month to receive approval. LVMPD also tends to approve National Firearms Act (NFA) forms within about two weeks (fingerprints and application is processed by the ATF), which one would imagine is held to much the same scrutiny as a concealed firearm permit.

Some testimony from the 1995 legislative session when Nevada adopted a ‘shall-issue’ system gives us a little more info, though it is 20 years old. 
“Mr. Cooper said the issuance of those concealed carry weapons permits requires one full-time clerk together with a part-time employee.  He said the process is ‘laborious,’ consisting of a background check and clerical time which could take from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours for each permit.”
“Lt. Cavagnaro added an FBI fingerprint check could take a minimum of 90 days.  He said a background check could vary from ‘10 minutes for a local person to several days for someone from out of the state.’
“Senator McGinness asked Mr. Cooper if he believed an FBI fingerprint check was always necessary.  Mr. Cooper answered the fingerprints would have to be submitted if the applicant's prints were not already on file.  He admitted if a person moved to Clark County from out of the state, ‘ could take from 60 to 90 days to follow up.’  Mr. Cooper said reviewing an application from a long-time resident of a county would be far more simple and take less time.” 
"Mr. Griiser [NRA-ILA] addressed the subcommittee again, saying: "I have testified in over 30 states...and I have never heard anybody testify that it takes 90 days for an FBI background check to go through."  He said in the state of Arizona the average wait, with a background check, is 10 days.  Mr. Griiser stated he believed setting a 60-day time limit would be sufficient. 
Mr. DeBacco, who testified earlier regarding this aspect of the legislation, said the repository submits approximately 60,000 to 70,000 civil fingerprints cards each year to the FBI, and the average turnaround time on licensing and employment issues is approximately 60 to 90 days.  He said the testimony in that regard is accurate.  Senator Porter indicated Nevada is the fastest growing state in the country, which may account for the lengthy turnaround time.  Mr. DeBacco said the fingerprint check is a 'labor intensive process,' and is a much more inclusive process than a simple background check."  
This was prior to the introduction of the IAFIS system in 1998.

We don’t really know what takes Metro so long. The numbers just don’t make sense. Ultimately, unless LVMPD or another agency is willing to shed light on exactly what they do, we can only make an educated guess. Hopefully, we can win constitutional carry in the 2017 legislative session.

Update: Metro said that the DPS provided stats may be inaccurate and the actual number of permits issued higher.


  1. Large overflowing inbox or small, LVMPD delays processing to the end. As an institution, they are not fond of CCW in their urban areas and delay to the extent possible. The "always 115 to 120" days is the result of agency decision. The Legislature needs to cut the processing time allowed to 30 or 45 days, and give a 6 month transition/compliance time to cut the backlog. Active labor time to process a CCW for approval/denial (in steady stream workflow as Clark does) is less than 15 minutes, meaning that 3+ can be completed in an hour. Processing one, then sitting and waiting for computer returns is not an excuse and actually not how they do it (from what i am told), but "adding" in that time helps defend the delays. Mandatory 60 day temporary permit issuance if they truly need more time on a given application for which a basis for denial has not been determined.

    Too many states process in 60 or less, with a required temporary issued permit issued if there are legit delays. For that matter, most Nevada Counties return permits in far less than the 120 day limit.

  2. I have had my Clark County Las Vegas CCW form 1996 personally I have never experienced any thing less than 120 day. On the 120 day my permit was in my mail box. I feel they process them then place them in a bin marked for date of mailing and they site there until that date. My Utah and Florida permits renewals are about 4-6 (30-45 days) weeks turn around. I would have to think Florida has a bigger population than Utah and both process just in the same amount of time. Oh I was just at the MLK office yesterday 3/9/16 and there is no "NEW WINDOWS" that I have seen from the last time I was there to update my Sheriff card back in 12/2015. What I did see was no place to sit and people standing outside, this was about 4pm in the afternoon it kinda reminded of the Fremont location back in the day. PACKED long waits.

  3. The headquarters office on Martin Luther King Blvd. was recently remodeled to add more windows to increase the number of citizens served This is not true Metro did not add anymore windows

  4. Well Damn. I applied for my First CCW in this State on Feb. 1st and even though I knew it was a 120 Max Wait time, I have been checking the mail like a hawk for over a week now, thinking for sure that now since its been 90+ Days I would be receiving my Card any day now. My Arizona Permit (From Before Constitutional Carry) only took about a Month and Half, and they have a more populated state. I thought that Nevada just wanted to give itself extra time in case needed, I had no idea that they always wait until the last minute to send them.

    O well, I waited this long, I guess another 20 days won't hurt... I mean, you know, unless of course sometime in the next 20 days hold the day that I am called on myself to defend myself, my family, a loved one, or an innocent unarmed Citizen(s) deserving of Protection, and because I was temporarily Denied the right to Conceal Arms, I could be powerless to stop the Threat. I hope that day never comes, but what scared me into self defense training in the first place was an incident in 2007 where an armed Gunman and disgruntled Ex-Employee decided they wanted to come back into work the day after getting fired and make the bosses and Co Workers Pay for it. I had no self Defense Training, No Firearm or Weapon of any kind, and my survival instincts to hide like a coward kicked in. I never want to be placed in that situation again, without the option to defend myself and fellow citizens, which is why I decided to train myself as much as possible in the art of Self Defense and Firearm Training. I am still learning every day, and by no means am an expert, and I have not been tested since that day, so I still don't know how I would react, but I would like to think that Muscle Memory from all my years of Training will kick in, and I would like to at least have the option to save lives. The Self Defense Training alone is valuable even without a firearm, but the firearm is an important tool that I would like to have in my toolkit if that day every arises again, and I personally am of the frame of mind that I like to blend in with the population, and not open Carry for the criminals to notice. Right now I am forced to Carry in the open, or not have that tool in my kit, and I don't like being put into that situation. I hope we can appeal to our 2017 Legislator to continue the progress that this state made in 2015, that allowed me to make the decision to move here without fear of being put in a database for my collection of firearms. I finally made the move on Jan 30th and Applied for my In State CCW on the 1st of Feb. I would like to see the Wait Times be cut in half, as the current system was setup before the FBI Digitized their Finger Print Check, and using the workload from other states we know that 60 days is more than enough. We also need to honor the Constituitional Right to allow All Eligible Law Abiding Citizens to Arm themselves if they so Choose, Open Or Concealled, with no permits required. Arizona recently found the light, Nevada Should be Next! Funny thing is on many other issues I am more Liberal, but this is one that is close to my heart, and should be a Liberal Issue, the definition of Liberal is to have an open mind, to never be closed to another person's Ideas and to consider them objectively. Liberal at least at its definition form, should want to give rights to everyone, and I can't think of Anything more Liberal then wanting to make sure Everyone has the Constitutionally Given Right to Bare Arms, as set fourth in our United States Constitution. This is a Bill of Right, a Civil Right, and should be fought for without restrictions. I hope that People will open their eyes and see that the first Amendment would not be possible without the second, just keep an open mind and believe in Constitutionally Given Civil Rights, and this is a no-brainer. Any ways, I have rambled on long enough now.

    20 More Days it is... LOL!

  5. It's all bs I half to carry my Gun in my arthritis hand with my bullets in my shoes

  6. It's all bs I half to carry my Gun in my arthritis hand with my bullets in my shoes

  7. Seems to me if they wait the 120 days and the CCW is just approved for time constraints they aren't doing do diligence in the actual background check.

    1. Why not for CCW Renewals be done by mail? Send in the required qualifications for shooting and classroom, a copy of current CCW. a copy of current Drivers License. A passport quality photo. Wouldn't that help? Other states can do it this way? I just don't see why we have to waste a day at the las Vegas Location?

  8. I did my own Background test just to see. Nevada is a POC state which they do their own background check following a FBI/NICS check that is to be connected to their system. So Nevada does two check. One for Criminal/Sex Offender and Another on Mental Health. Here is how it went down.
    The Criminal and Mental Health go to the same office but different Suites. had signed post mail to prove they received it.
    1. The Mental Health was returned in 2.5 weeks with a negative finding.
    2. The Criminal/Sex Offender was returned in 4 weeks with a negative finding.

    It is my understanding that with a cleared negative finding you are good to go. So if I can run the same background check that Metro does in a One Month time frame it tells me they are sitting on these CCW Permits for an extra 3 months for no reason.

    Once you get fingered printed and have your photo taken the permit is completed and printed. It is then held on to until the background check is completed. Which they say is 120 day.

    I went a step further just to see.
    3. I also placed a FBI/NICS background check and this check took 3 months for me to receive a negative finding.

    With Utah, Florida, and Arizona being a none POC state and uses the FBI/NICS system and can get me my permits from 1 Month to 2.5 Months Then it says something about Nevada.

    Even other counties within Nevada claim it also takes them 120 day if you look at the Sheriffs/Police website and their are smaller location and should be basically a fast process.

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  11. It'll be interesting to see. I'm exactly 5 days away from 120 days and I'm still waiting for the renewal of my CCW

  12. I got my CCW in 87 days - Applied Dec 28th 2016 got it March 24th

  13. Applied April 9th it is now July 14th and it still hasn't arrived. So 4 days to my 100 day mark and nothing has come so far. roughly 3 weeks left...

  14. How can a simple renewal take 120 days? Makes no sense to me. I am fast approaching the 90 day mark.

  15. Great Article Thanks Man! Love to hear from you more..

  16. it has been over 150 days since the application has been put in, paid for and all. No rejection letter either. whats the hold up?

  17. I did everything March 26,2018
    I haven't heard anything, I am an Armed guard already so it isn't that hard to approve me... Anyone know of a site to check the status?

  18. My first CCW permit was issued in 3 weeks. My renewal is now 2 1/2 months out. Reading this news I guess it'll take the full 120 days.

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  20. It would be better for NV to become a "Constitutional Carry" state. The ccw permit law is just a bureaucratic roadblock that puts peoples lives at at risk. Criminals don't bother taking classes and paying $100 for a permit and waiting up to 120 pointless days. Background checks should end after successfully buying a gun legally at a ffl. Another check after that is just a waste of time. It's like putting two handles on a door. What are we supposed to do while we wait in these ridiculous turnarounds? God forbid we need to defend ourselves from harm. Open carry just makes us targets. Open carry is not accepted at many places and can make people decided not to carry because of oppressing circumstances. Lets not become like California, New York, Illionois with more pointless gun control laws that just disarm the productive citizens. This law of ccw permits should have never been passed as we now live with the limiting factors. Lets vote for a repeal on this stupid law!
    Arizona gets it, we should learn a lesson from them.
    Oh well.
    20 days and counting......