July 2018 SLED Seminar for CWP Instructors


Picture of SLED logo.You may or may not know that here in South Carolina, concealed weapon permit instructors, by statute, have to attend periodic seminars conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). I attended the 10 AM SLED seminar conducted today in Greenville, and thought I’d pass on what was related to us.

I’ll start with some figures. (Don’t worry, they will be germane shortly.) As of today, there are 437,000 concealed weapon permit holders in the state. 103,000 concealed weapon permits were issued in 2017. There are 2,300 CWP instructors in the state. (I’m the best, but here’s the list.)


Why Are Permits Taking So Long To Arrive?

This is where the above figures come into play. There is currently a team of six people working in the section that processes CWP applications. Six people. Quickly doing the math, not counting holidays, there are 260 workdays in a year. Remember the 103,000 number above? That equates to 396ish applications processed per day. By six people. And that’s once they actually get your application.

Along with all the other mail SLED gets, your application is delivered to a distribution center. There, two people open each piece and direct it to the appropriate office. Two people. It was recommended that you send your application via UPS or FedEx so that it goes directly to the permit office. So they may tend to run a little behind. Especially when there are problems with the application. Little things like driver’s license addresses not matching the address on the application, applications not fully completed, cash or personal checks sent with the application (SLED only accepts cashier’s checks and money orders), and certain legal disqualifiers. Which leads us to…

What Are Bars To Getting A Permit?

There are many things that can prevent your application for a permit being approved, too many to provide an exhaustive list here. If you’ve ever had any legal issues that resulted in you being fingerprinted, you will be in the system. Bear in mind, not guilty verdicts, records that were supposed to be expunged, etc. may not reflect the disposition in the system. Adding to the confusion, should the issue have occurred prior to the agency’s or court’s move to the digital world, there may be a piece of paper you may need resting quietly in a box in a basement storeroom somewhere.

Should you have anything like this in your background, the best course of action is to get official documentation about the adjudication of the case and send a copy of it along with an explanation of the case along with your application.

What’s Up With Renewing Permits Online?

So, your permit is expiring soon, you fill out the renewal form and mail it in. Maybe not the best move. (See Why Are Permits Taking So Long To Arrive above.) By mailing your renewal request in, your application falls into the mail abyss along with initial applications (and unarmed security guard applications, and armed security guard applications, and instructor applications…yep, these are also all handled by the same six people.)

A better solution is to renew your application on line. By going here and renewing on line, your renewal application is normally processed in five days. Five days! Same goes for replacements.

And on the subject of renewals, let’s say you have forgotten about your permit and it expired. You have eighteen months to renew your application online. After that you’ll need to mail your application in.

You cannot legally carry concealed with an expired permit. Now, should your permit expire, if you go online and renew, your permit is put in a “Pending” status. The “Pending” status is recognized by SLED the same as a currently valid permit, so you can legally carry concealed.

What’s New Coming Up?

The company that is currently handling online renewals, IdentoGO, will in the very near future handle the electronic submission of CWP applications. This means that you will be able to schedule an appointment with them, bring your documentation from the class (and any other documents you may need), have them electronically submitted, along with your digital fingerprints. Improperly filled out fingerprint cards, smudged prints, etc. are a big cause of delays in receiving your permit. Digital fingerprints will prevent delays. The electronic submission is expected to dramatically reduce the time between application and receiving a permit.

In Closing

None of the above is meant to dissuade you from obtaining your concealed carry permit. I pass this information along to set realistic expectations. SLED actually does a tremendous job given the resources they have and the sheer volume of work on their plate. Don’t let the process be a bar to you providing for your personal safety. Take my class and get your permit.


The Tactical Pirate

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President and lead instructor. Follow me on Twitter, and check out our blog.

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