Permitless carry could result in big financial loss for sheriff's office

Pulaski County Sheriff Greg Speck

On Monday, Governor Bevin signed into law the bill that will allow people at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed gun without a permit here in Kentucky.

Prior to Senate Bill 150, state law required citizens to get a permit from their local sheriff's office -- a process that involved a background check, completion of a gun safety course and a $60 fee.

According to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office (PCSO), there were approximately 2,200 concealed carry permits issued last year. While two thirds of that revenue goes to the commonwealth, the sheriff's office is allowed to keep a third ($20 per permit) for processing and related costs. So with a permit no longer required come July 1, Sheriff Greg Speck could potentially lose some $44,000 out of his future annual budgets.

"That's a deputy," PCSO Public Affairs Officer Karl Clinard remarked on how that figure would cover a deputy's salary with some extra leftover. "It's a significant chunk of change."

While a permit will no longer be required, the commonwealth is not doing away with it altogether. Sheriff Speck noted that gun owners who travel out of state might still want to obtain a permit so that they can legally carry their weapon in states that recognize Kentucky permits. He strongly suggests taking the gun training course because participants receive instruction on:

basic gun safety, such disassembling and cleaning the weapon as well as handling and firing."childproofing" using safety features on the weapon as well as keeping it in a gun safe at home, etc.current laws involving use of deadly force and other gun-related issues.how to react when someone carrying a firearm comes in contact with law enforcement during traffic stops, etc."There are many important things people can miss by not taking the class," Clinard said, adding Sheriff's Speck spoke of the responsibility involved in carrying a gun. "Whether they have taken it or not, they will still be accountable for knowing and following the law."