The state agency responsible for processing Utah's popular concealed firearm permits told lawmakers Wednesday that it is getting its backlog crisis under control, but at the expense of other duties.
Ed McConkie, chief of the Bureau of Criminal Identification, said that, with BCI employees working overtime, they have managed to get the average wait for a gun permit's criminal background check down to about 50 days, which is under the 60-day limit established by the Legislature.
Over the past few years, BCI became inundated with permit requests, the majority from people who are out of state and some out of the country. McConkie says Utah's gun permit has fast become a national, universal permit that is recognized by 42 other states. However, the approximately $850,000 in fees the state rakes in during a year goes directly to the general fund, and BCI doesn't see a dime.
On Wednesday, McConkie told members of the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee the state's "rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul" approach has allowed his bureau to solve its gun permit problem, but at the expense of exacerbating other issues, such as waiting periods for criminal background checks for non-law-enforcement positions.