News reports from across North America tell of a spike in gun sales in many areas because of fears associated with the COVID-19 pandemic — and some of those buyers have been tricked into buying bogus permits to carry a concealed weapon, according to a warning from the Better Business Bureau.
The bureau has received reports about several businesses that sell certification of competency certificates that some consumers say they never received. One website states, “Download Your Certification of Competency to Carry Now.”
Complaints filed with BBB by some customers state they never received the training certificates after submitting payments of at least $75. Some complainants also said they were told by the state they live in they don’t accept online training when applying for CCW permits. Some people were confused that the certificates were actual CCW permits, according to the bureau.
“I thought it was a permit,” said David Ahlborn of Springville. “The website wasn’t very clear. I was convinced it was real.”
Some online businesses are offering online training for a concealed carry permit in Virginia, not the applicant’s home state. Non-resident permits obtained in Virginia are valid in Utah, but not in Nevada.
The Virginia State Police website warned, “Due to a high volume of applications, the current processing time for nonresident concealed handgun permits is two to three months.” Consumers might want to check with their own state to confirm the wait time.
BBB advises checking with the state agency that handles applications for concealed firearms permits for requirements to get the permits. In Utah, that is the Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Identification. Firearms instructors must be certified in the states where they offer training, according to a press release from the BBB.