Handgun permit applications now offered online

Apr 30, 2014
Those who wish to purchase a handgun may now fill out an application online instead of having to pay a visit to the sheriff's office.

To improve efficiency and provide better customer service, Haywood County residents who wish to apply and pay for permits to purchase handguns may now do so online.

The new online process became available Monday, and those interested in utilizing it can navigate to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office gun permit application page at https://haywoodso.permitium.com/ to apply and pay for handgun permits.

“This technology is simply another tool being made available to help streamline the process as much as possible and make it more convenient for the public,” said Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher.  “It enables applicants to apply for permits anytime day or night, holidays or weekends.”

When applications are received, orders are given a unique number to help with referencing and tracking. Using this number together with their name and email address, applicants can check the status of their order anytime. Applicants are notified via automated email, telephone or text about the issuance or denial of permits, or whether there is a need for additional documentation.

After the permit has been granted, applicants come to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office within 14 days with their approval notice and valid state-issued picture identification to pick up their permits.

The digital application service can save clients time and money by alleviating multiple calls and trips to the sheriff’s office to apply for and check on the status of their permits, the sheriff said. It is also expected to streamline the process for sheriff’s office personnel, who handled more than 1,500 gun permit applications in 2013.

“This technology will not only be helpful for our citizens, but also for our staff,” Christopher said. “By not having to spend so much time processing applications, our employees will be able to use that time to better serve the public in other matters.”

Christopher realizes that not everyone has easy access to a computer or internet to be able to apply online; therefore, those who wish to apply may still come to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at 1620 Brown Ave., Waynesville, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, or 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Fridays, to fill out an application in person. These hours are also available to pick up permits.

The cost, as set by the state, remains $5 per gun permit regardless whether the application is made online or in-person.  There is a $3 convenience fee charged by the company to pay online, and applicants may pay using major credit cards or electronic check. The fees are non-refundable.

The online application process will not take the place of someone picking up the permit, which must still be done in-person with picture ID at the sheriff’s office.  Name and address on the applicant’s identification must match the application.  All state law requirements for handgun permits still apply.