Denver resident Tina Ries wants to get a concealed-carry permit for a gun because she says she wants to be able protect herself and her family.
Having gone through all the required training, there is nothing left for Ries to do except have Denver police take fingerprints and process her paperwork.
Which will happen — in about four months.
In fact, the wait time is the longest it's ever been, and the department's policy of requiring petitioners to make appointments instead of accepting all-comers — like other large jurisdictions allow — is drawing intense criticism.
Under the law, authorities have 90 days to process the application. But because of Denver's process, the wait clock for the 90-day period doesn't start until the appointment is conducted.
Presently, that means someone applying for the permit today wouldn't be seen until July, police said, and could possibly not get the results until October.
That time-frame is unacceptable, Ries said.
"The county should respond to the demand by staffing it more so people aren't left waiting," she said. "We are doing our part in following their policies and procedures: They should meet us halfway by not making us jump through additional hoops."
With an overwhelming demand for concealed-carry permits, police and sheriffs' departments say they are doing all they can to keep up with the flood of people.
That is the case for Denver, said Raquel Lopez, Denver police spokeswoman.
Staff said the reason for this is simple: They are incredibly busy.
"Everyone applied at the same time," Lopez said. "It really slowed down the process."
There are approximately 392 applications pending with Denver police, according to records. Last year, which saw an increase in the number of permits is issued nearly double from 2011, the department approved 984 permits.
Denver isn't facing the demand alone.
The El Paso County Sheriff's office is scheduling appointments for permit processing, which, as of Monday, extended through March 26.
Like Denver, El Paso has been slammed with those seeking a permit, said Joe Roybal, spokesman for the sheriff's department.
From Jan. 2 to Feb. 22, 2012, there were 461 permits processed, Roybal said. In that same time span this year, 1,304 permits were processed, he said.
Despite the appointments, Roybal said the department works in a timely manner.
"We are very sensitive to the 90-day waiting period," he said.
Other departments also are receiving a tremendous amount applications but are not scheduling appointments for submittals.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department has been rocked with permit paperwork, but still takes walk-ins for processing, said Jacki Kelley, a sheriff's department spokeswoman.
"Our doors are open," Kelley said. "Come on down."
Most days, a line of people waiting for permit processing has formed by 8 a.m., Kelley said.
Appointments would prolong wait times for the entire process, she said.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Department takes walk-ins only, said Ron Hanavan, department spokesman.
"It's first come, first serve," he said. "And it's working."
The department has experienced a considerable increase in applications since mid-December, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Hanavan said.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department tried using appointments for a short time to combat the rush of applicants, but it didn't last long, said Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
"It didn't work for us," he said. "Walk-ins work much better for us."
The Arapahoe, El Paso and Douglas departments added or shifted staff to better expedite the process, authorities said.
While this news may be frustrating for applicants, state data show delays are on par with the massive demand.
The number of background checks run for concealed firearm permits jumped in 2012 from 2011 by 11,065 applications processed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, data show.
Ryan Parker: 303-954-2409, email@example.com or twitter.com/ryanparkerdp