Justice Department Wont Meet Deadlines

1/3/12 – The state Justice Department says it probably won’t meet deadlines this month to approve permits to carry concealed weapons. Law enforcement administrator Brian O’Keefe says his agency will probably need one-or-two extra days beyond the deadlines for at least the few weeks. The government is not penalized for being late, but those who apply to carry hidden guns must wait a little longer. State law gives the agency 45 days to act on requests filed in November, when the concealed carry law took effect, and 21 days to process applications filed since December. O’Keefe says his department has received thousands of applications in a single day, and dozens of Justice Department employees have been pulled off other duties to keep up. As of last Wednesday, there were almost 65-thousand requests for concealed weapon permits. Thirty-six thousand were approved and about 800 were rejected — mainly because the addresses on the applications didn’t match those on driver’s licenses. The law authorized 11 people to process applications at the start, but that wasn’t nearly enough. O’Keefe said administrative employees have worked on their days-off and delayed vacations to help. About 30-thousand-dollars in overtime had been spent thorugh mid-December. But criminal investigations have not been affected, and no special agents or crime lab specialists have been pulled from their duties.