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Two Siouxland Sheriff's Offices have been called out by a Des Moines newspaper. The issue is that they aren't keeping all conceal carry gun permit application records.
Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says he keeps all the documents that are necessary to keep track of the gun permit holders in his county.
Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says his system is fair and more importantly legal. It's how they've done it in Woodbury County for decades, well before Sheriff Drew took office this year.
Here's how Drew says it's done:
When someone applies for a gun permit, he or she fills out an application that includes a questionnaire with questions like 'have you been charged with a felony' or 'do you have a mental illness'?
Once the office receives it, it runs a background check. Keep in mind, all items on the questionnaire can be confirmed through a background check, except mental health history.
The check is logged on a sheet. If the application is approved, the new permit holder is given their questionnaire back.
"Criminal history will tell us if this is good or not. And if they meet the qualifications, there's no reason to keep this," said Sheriff Drew.
The Sheriff's Office keeps everything else, including the permit, in its records. Some say all documents should be saved to prove an applicant was lying if a situation arises in the future.
"We scan the information we need. This document isn't going to help us in any way," said Sheriff Drew.
After a state audit a few years ago, the Iowa Department of Public Safety started giving guidelines to county Sheriff Offices when it comes to keeping records of gun permits.
The reason? To show that all background checks are authorized.
Ross Loder, the IA Dept. of Public Safety Bureau Chief said, "We need to be able to verify that the access to the background check system is being used only for authorized purposes. So, if a Sheriff is comfortable with destroying the actual application document after the NICS check is done then I think that is acceptable."
The other county that doesn't keep all its records is O'Brien County.
Sheriff Michael Anderson says once the permit application is filled out and the permit is granted, his office shreds the application. According to him, there's no reason to keep it.
Permits are scanned and saved on a computer.
Both county Sheriffs told Channel 9 Eyewitness News that if an applicant is denied, all of the paperwork is saved.