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St. Johns Tax Collector Set To Renew Weapons Permits

Hank Hession

The St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office is now performing weapons-permits renewals.

St. Johns tax collectors were among the first in the state to take gun-carrying applications when state lawmakers delegated the duty to them last year.

St. Johns County Tax Collector Dennis Hollingsworth said before the law change, residents had to drive far to fill out applications at the closest Department of Agriculture regional office, often losing a day of work.

“We were testing the waters to make sure the tax collectors offices that had really, basically started the pilot program — that we were adhering and communicating with the department well, and now they are very pleased and asked if we’d pilot the renewal process as well,” he said.

Hollingsworth said lawmakers made the change to relieve the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services it was inundated with applications for concealed-weapons permits.

Hollingsworth says tax collectors were originally barred from renewing weapons licenses because the applications contain more sensitive personal information.

More than 14,000 people hold concealed and carry permits in St. Johns County.

Photo credit: "Anderson Gun and Pawn (6)" by Hank Hession is used under CC BY 2.0.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.