New procedure in place to get firearm permits

COLUMBIA CITY — Residents hoping to get handgun permits or renew expired documents will have to go online from now on.Gina Kessinger, administrative assistant at the Columbia City Police Department announced this week that the application process for gun permits is now required to be done via the Internet by state licensing officials.“We were one of the last counties to go,” said Kessinger, who reported that the firearms licensing branch of the Indiana State Police was responsible for requiring the changeover to a paperless process.Kessinger said the requirements have actually been effective since early last month.Applicants who live in the city limits of Columbia City will apply through the local police department, while residents in the rest of the county can apply through the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.According to Kessinger, the process begins with applicants going online to there, the applicant should find the link for “firearms licensing located on the left hand side of the screen and fill in the application and submit it.Once the online application is complete, they can then go into the sheriff’s department or city police, depending on their residency and finish the process.Kessinger said that portion of the procedure involves a background check, local criminal check and fingerprinting.The applicants would then pay the local fees and would be given the paperwork to submit to the state along with any state fees.