Between April and May of this year, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office brought in more than $50,000 in application fees for concealed weapons permits, yet none of those funds stayed with the department.
According to Sheriff Tony DeMeo, the funds collected from those fees are sent to two places — the county and then the state.
“Some of the money goes to the state and some of it goes to the county. That’s the money we turn in. We don’t see any of that,” DeMeo said. “All the fees we collect go to the state and into the general fund and then the county can use that however they want to use that. So any of those funds we bring in go directly to general funds.”
Each new concealed weapon permit costs $97.50. Of that fee, $37.50 goes to the State of Nevada and $60 goes to the general fund for the county.
The renewal fee for each permit is $62.50, with $37.50 going to the state and $25 to the county.
In April, the sheriff’s office received $30,806 for concealed weapon permits, which means more than 315 people received permits in that month alone.
In May, the NCSO processed fewer permit applications, bringing in only $20,410. However, that still means more than 209 people were issued a permit in that month.
Though that comes to a total of $51,216 collected in permit fees in just two months, DeMeo said that was about average for his department.
“That’s about average. Actually there were some months for a while there where we were bringing in $42,000 a month. Sometimes it will slow down and you’ll get around $10,000 or $5,000, you know, but usually they run about that level,” he said.
So far this year, Asst. Sheriff Rick Marshall said the NCSO has processed concealed weapons permits for 1,393 people.
That means if every one of those was a new permit, the county would have collected $135,817.50 in permit fees so far this year.
Marshall said that number was slightly higher overall than the usual number of permits the NCSO processes by this point in the year, which may be due in part to the gun control discussions that have taken place in Washington, D.C. this year.
According to the current county budget outline, during the 2012 fiscal year, the county received approximately $94,996 from issued permits. It was expected the county would receive an estimated $90,000 in permits from the 2013 fiscal year which ended last month.
Though many people in Nye County chose to obtain a concealed weapons permit, many of the people coming to the NCSO are coming there from places such as Front Sight, the country club for gun enthusiasts that operates just outside of town.
“Front Sight contributes quite a few people. Actually, Tuesday is Front Sight day. We actually dedicated a whole day just to Front Sight. They come in and sometimes the line is out the door. So a lot of that is the Front Sight or the local CCW people who have a class and then come in and they’re the ones that bring the people in. Then there’s also renewals, you have to pay for that as well,” DeMeo said.
The sheriff added that many people also choose to obtain concealed weapons permits in Nevada because they are recognized by many other states across the nation.
“When there was a lot of controversy over the CCWs, a lot of people wanted to make sure they got their CCWs in. And you know a lot of people have multiple CCWs because we allow CCWs in Nevada from other jurisdictions, they have this agreement with other states,” he said. “(Nevada CCWs) are recognized in other states across the country and that’s why people want to get them, so if they go to some place that recognizes Nevada they can carry their weapons there.”
Currently, Nevada recognizes only 15 other states’ concealed weapons permits. Those are Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Arizona was removed from that list earlier after the Nevada Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ Association found that reductions in that state’s training standards to obtain a permit were much lower than Nevada standards.
The Nevada concealed weapon permit, on the other hand, is recognized in more than 20 states.
To obtain a permit in Nevada, an applicant must be 21 years of age or older, may not have been prohibited by the state or legal system from owning or possessing a firearm, must complete an eight-hour training course or four-hour renewal course, pass a background check and pay all fees associated with the permit.
Application forms can be downloaded from the sheriff’s office website at http://nyecountysheriff.net/.