Upgrading From a Provisional to a Standard Concealed Carry Permit
I started legally carrying a firearm when I was 18 years old. While uncommon, some states offer provisional concealed carry permits for individuals who are at least 18, but not yet 21. I attend college in Utah where the provisional concealed carry permit is offered. The main difference between the provisional and standard permit is that the provisional permit prohibits the holder from carrying on the campuses of K-12 schools. With my provisional permit I was still able to legally carry my firearm on the campuses of public universities in the state of Utah. Just like any other concealed carry permit, my provisional permit had an expiration date. My permit expired on my 21st birthday, requiring me to upgrade to a standard permit.
The Renewal Process
In order to switch to a standard permit, I needed to submit a new application including a photo, fingerprints, and fees. The training requirement would be satisfied by including a copy of my provisional permit, eliminating the need for me to take the concealed carry training class a second time.
How it Actually Went Down
My birthday is in April and this year it ended up falling in the middle of a global pandemic. This slightly complicated my permit renewal process. The most difficult part of the renewal process was being able to get my fingerprints done. I started off by calling a few of my local police departments, but was quickly shut down when each informed me that due to the stay at home order, they were no longer doing fingerprints at that time. I then called BCI, which is the department that issues concealed carry permits, and was shut down by them as well. I started to worry because at that point, there was only about a week until my provisional permit expired. I decided to reach out to Amber from B.A.D. Concealed Carry, an account I had followed on Instagram for a while. Amber is a concealed carry instructor and she was able to meet with me and get my fingerprints done within a few minutes. She also helped me to finish up my paperwork and even went to drop it off for me.
There was about a month and a half where I did not have a concealed carry permit. After carrying for 2 and a half years, it felt so strange to not carry. If there was ever a perfect time to not have a concealed carry permit, it was the last month. It was definitely difficult to not be able to legally carry, but I am glad it happened when it did. I would rather not have a permit during a time when I am mostly at home than at a time where I would have to be on campus every day. I did learn an important lesson through this experience. While I could not have foreseen the coronavirus complications, I could have started my permit renewal process earlier and avoided the time when it lapsed.
Being prepared does not only apply to the act of carrying a firearm, it applies to the entire process, including permit renewal. Being prepared means renewing your permit on time to avoid putting yourself in a position where you are unable to carry your self-defense tool. I was lucky to have avoided any unsafe situations when I was unable to carry, but I have decided that I will not allow myself to be in that position again.