CLEVELAND - A surge of people applying for firearms carry permits in the county has prompted the White County Sheriff's Office to take steps to speed up the process.
Until recently, applicants were required to visit two locations, the White County Probate Court office for paperwork and the sheriff's office for fingerprinting and a background check.
Sheriff Neal Walden recently authorized moving an old fingerprinting machine to the courthouse.
Deputy Mike Long performs fingerprinting at the courthouse and said people like the new setup.
"When ink prints were being made, it would take three to six months to get a permit back, now we're getting them back in two to three weeks. This is automatic, once I finish with their fingerprints and add them to the system they are transmitted electronically to the GBI and the FBI to be identified and checked for criminal record," Long said.
The office does fingerprinting between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.
Shane Ray of Cleveland went through the permitting process this week. He said it was his first permit.
"With all this stuff that's been going on lately, I'd rather be safe and have one than need one and not have one," Ray said.
According to the probate office, officials have taken 137 carry permit applications since January first. Normally they issue about 30 a month.