BEND, OR -- There are 12,000 Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders in Deschutes County, and that number is growing, quickly. Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson tells KBND News his agency is trying to clear a backlog of new applications. "We’ve hired a part-time worker to try and assist us in getting caught up. We have also changed the way we’re doing CHL classes so that we can actually issue the license at the time of class." He explains, "It was an excellent idea by my teammates. They came up with an idea where we do a Concealed Handgun License class, and then issue the licenses at the time. It’s a Saturday class, so those attendees don’t have to make an appointment."
Sheriff Nelson says, "We’ve just seen an overwhelming increase in the applications, due to some of the things that have gone on, nationwide." He says there was a significant spike in applications following the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California: "In September of 2015, we had 144 renewals a month; now we see 200 renewals a month. In September of 2015, we had 99 new CHLs that month; now we see 150 new CHLs in a month." That's a 39% increase in renewal requests, and a 51% jump in new applications.
For more information on how to obtain a Concealed Handgun License in Deschutes County, visit the Sheriff's Office website.