The Polk County Board of Supervisors approved a reorganization of a small number of Sheriff employees as a step in addressing the weapon permitting process in Polk County. Current state law allows for permits issued by County Sheriff Offices to be good for up to five years and once a gun owner has that permit the dealer no longer is required to do a federal check. Dealers can voluntarily check the federal National Instant Background Check (NIC) system but it requires a phone call that often takes 30 minutes or more to process and is simply not feasible for most dealers.
“Every day that I wake up to another news story about gun violence is one day too many,” said Polk County Board of Supervisors Chair Angela Connolly. “We simply cannot rely on our state and federal governments to put common sense checks in place and I am thankful that our Sheriff is taking steps to do what we can locally to keep guns out of the hands of people whose permits have been revoked.”
The reorganization of the Polk County Sheriff staff will allow the department to create an easily accessible online database of permit numbers where dealers can check if the permit numbers of potential buyers have been revoked. Use of the database by the dealers will be voluntary but the Sheriff is hopeful that dealers will be compelled to use it because it will be fast and user-friendly and is another way to protect themselves from liability. The system will also be accessible to residents for use in private gun sales. The system will be implemented in June and will only be searchable by permit number, not by name.
Chief Tim Krum with the Polk County Sheriff will oversee the program and added, “Our goal with this new system is to make it easier for dealers to know if a potential buyer’s permit number has been revoked. I think we can all agree that when people enter our criminal justice system because of criminal activity or mental illness we need to be taking a closer look at whether they should be purchasing a gun and this new system will give dealers another layer of confidence in making that determination.”