The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has announced that people seeking fingerprinting or concealed handgun licenses will be asked to make an appointment.
The sheriff's office says the services have been provided on a walk-in basis, but that it could take an hour or more to be fingerprinted or to submit a concealed handgun license application. By making an appointment, Jackson County residents can reduce the wait time to about 20 minutes.
"It will make it easier for the customers and more efficient for the office," said sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson.
Residents can call 541-774-6834 and schedule an appointment for between 9 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The sheriff's office is at 5179 Crater Lake Highway, just north of East Vilas Road.
According to Carlson, the office saw an increase in concealed handgun license applications after the Sandy Hook shooting on Dec. 14 and then again after President Obama announced plans to reduce gun violence on Jan. 16.
"Our statistics are slightly increased, but not heavily," said Carlson. "Our normal average is 20 concealed handgun license applications a day; currently we're doing between 30 and 35 a day."
Those applying for a concealed handgun license still must wait about three months for the application to be processed and approved. Applications are $50 for a renewal and $65 for a new application. Concealed handgun licenses are good for four years.
The necessary forms are available on the Jackson County Sheriff's Office website. Carlson recommended that applicants fill out the form prior to their appointment time.
While appointments are requested, residents can arrive at the office without an appointment, but likely could face a significant wait time. Many appointment time slots are available, said Carlson.
In 2012 the sheriff's office issued 3,151 concealed handgun licenses and made 1,650 fingerprints. Carlson said that in January the office issued 599 new or renewal licenses and had issued another 485 as of Feb. 27.
Mandy Valencia is a reporter with the Mail Tribune. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-4486.