The Manatee County Tax Collector is adding concealed weapon license (CWL) appointments to meet the increased requests from residents.
"Before closing our Driver License Office at the end of March due to the COVID-19 shutdown, our customers could book a renewal the same day, in most cases, and an original CWL appointment was never more than two weeks out," said Tax Collector Ken Burton, Jr. "Our schedule and number of appointments met the demand, plus we served other counties, too. That is no longer the case with appointments now being booked out 45 days."
There are several factors that have contributed to the appointment shortfall.
- Since May, limited CWL appointments have been offered following Center for Disease Control guidelines.
- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services closed all their Division of Licensing regional offices March 19, and only the Tallahassee Regional office has resumed service.
- Then on June 29, the Manatee County Sherriff's Office temporarily suspended fingerprinting, limiting customers' opportunity to submit applications through the mail.
- And, according to a Fox News 5 New York article, this has been the largest increase in Florida gun sales in two decades.
- Service will be provided to Manatee County residents only.
- Additional CWL Original transactions will be provided on Mondays, adding half a day Wednesdays and continuing service Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Increased CWL Original transactions:
- The current 50 CWL Original appointments a week will increase to 85 (59% increase) – an additional 910 appointments between July 6 and December 28.
- The total CWL Original appointments available will increase from 1,300 to 2,210 between July 6 and December 28 (59% increase).
- The number of CWL Renewal appointments will not be increased, since customers can schedule as early as August 3rd (36 appointments per week). Renewal customers also have the ability to access the Department of Agriculture's concealed weapon and firearm license renewal page to renew online.
- The total of all CWL appointments for July 6 to December 28 will increase from 2,236 to 3,146.
- For the safety of both customers and staff, face masks/coverings are required for all CWL transactions.
Concealed weapon license services are offered at the Driver License Office, 904 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton. To schedule an appointment and view service protocols, visit taxcollector.com.
The mission of the Manatee County Tax Collector's Office is to perform our duties with integrity and respect, focusing on innovation and serving with excellence.
Manatee County Tax Collector is a 2011 Governor's Sterling Award Recipient.
Read more news