North Fulton change

Discussion in 'Ga. County Licensing Information' started by thomas_l, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. thomas_l

    thomas_l New Member

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    I'm a long time lurker with something to contribute for a change.

    I just did the renewal application at the North Fulton annex yesterday. So nothing to report regarding time to issue at this early stage.

    However, there is a new, less convenient hitch for anyone applying in North Fulton: Sandy Springs PD and Alpharetta PD will now only do fingerprint/backgrounds for residents only. Apparently none of the other North Fulton PD's are on board with the Probate Court. I'm going to check with JCPD, but went with what the court told me to avoid any further delay.

    If you reside anywhere besides Sandy Springs or Alpharetta on the north side, you have only one place to hand in your affidavit: Fulton County Police at 141 Pryor St downtown.

    Had I known that, I would have skipped the North Annex stop and just done everything in Atlanta. Last renewal I used Sandy Springs Police across the street. Not an option for me now since I live in Johns Creek.

    That said, aside from the inconvenience and waste of time and cost of having to visit downtown, it was trouble free. North Annex Probate counter in/out in about 10 minutes. About an hour $5 round trip on the train, then a friendly face and quick service at the Fulton County palace.
     
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  2. Outrider9

    Outrider9 Active Member

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    Anyone on here (lawyers) know if this is legal? If it isn't, is anyone in touch with folk at GCO who could get this fixed, perhaps with threat of a lawsuit?

    In Cobb, they made it very easy, simple, quick and friendly. It sounds like Fulton is intentionally making it difficult.

    I shudder at the thought of leaving a gun (even inside a lockbox within) a vehicle, even in relatively very safe Cobb county. I would be scared to death to have to do that in Atlanta itself.

    On a side note: I refuse to ever go ITP unarmed, and there are many non-government places in Atlanta that I refuse to ever go to because they have metal detectors. My grandchildren-to-be are going to be very deprived, because Pappy will never, ever take them to the Aquarium, Six Flags, etc.
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    The law concerning the weapons carry license application process doesn't specify which law-enforcement agencies must cooperate in doing fingerprints.

    I think the law would be satisfied so long as at least one law enforcement agency in that county (in this case Fulton County) is ready, willing, and able to process the fingerprints for any Fulton County resident.

    Quote from O.C.G.A. 16-11-129:
    (c) Fingerprinting.  
    Following completion of the application for a weapons carry license, the judge of the probate court shall require the applicant to proceed to an appropriate law enforcement agency in the county or to any vendor approved by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for fingerprint submission services with the completed application so that such agency or vendor can capture the fingerprints of the applicant.  
     
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Have you asked the Probate Court if they would accept fingerprints from a GBI approved vendor or subcontractor?
    If so, how far away is the closest location for one of those? I think there's one in Cartersville or Canton, if that helps you any...
     
  5. atlsrt44

    atlsrt44 Well-Known Member

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    I've carried in the aquarium. Just put it in an ankle holster and they only wander my waist. I could be wrong but I think they have storage there. Someone else might know
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Why are you having to do fingerprints on a renewal? ;-)
     
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  7. thomas_l

    thomas_l New Member

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    No fingerprints. Just the criminal background check.

    I did get fingerprints done there when I first applied years ago, since back then it was the only place you could go. They didn't even have the probate counter in the North Annex until I renewed in '15.

    I did, and I may as well have been asking her to teach me brain surgery. When she started gaping I just decided to not die on that hill, and just go downtown to FCPD and git-r-done.

    I hear you and respect that. I graduated from Georgia State in '99, and lived and worked in downtown in the '90's so have done plenty of walking around down there.

    For what it's worth, the Fulton County gov't center is 1-1/2 blocks south of the Peachtree exit from the 5 points MARTA station. When you step into the daylight, turn right, walk thru two lights and it's on the left. You can enter the government center on the Peachtree side without walking down the hill to Pryor. Probate court and the police are in the same building, and they do have metal detectors at the entrances.

    The North Springs station was a ghost town. The 5 points MARTA station was a police party, so did not feel uncomfortable there either. Judging from my past experience downtown, the walk to Fulton County was about a 1 out of 10 (low risk) in terms of panhandlers, street people, or other threats sharing the sidewalk. At 2:30pm heading south, the train was 1/2 empty. Returning at 3:30pm was a little busier, but still nobody standing. Both trips all the other passengers were obviously working people going about their business. No unruly young people or homeless people shouting at invisible people. The troublemakers were probably still asleep anyway during business hours.

    I wasn't about to wrangle traffic then find pay parking down there, so took the train instead. One of those times it truly was smarta. My experience has been that, during business hours on streets where there's a good bit of foot traffic, the threat is low. Use a little situational awareness and act like you know where you're going and nobody will bother you. Probably doesn't hurt that I'm a 6' tall man in decent shape wearing a beard that gets caught in my belt buckle at times.

    That said, you couldn't pay me to stop at a gas station downtown even when carrying. Hard pass.
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Weird. My probate judge sends me nowhere at renewal time. Only for fingerprinting (and then it is to the Sheriff's office, 1.6 miles away).
     
  9. Billennium

    Billennium Custom User Title

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    Ouch!

    Thanks for the info. I live in midtown but I was planning on going to Sandy Springs tomorrow morning, as I did five years ago. Based on what you said I’m afraid I have to change my plans, even if I don’t like going to downtown.
     
  10. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    I thought you didn't need fingerprints at renewal...
     
  11. thomas_l

    thomas_l New Member

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    You don't. Like everything else in Fulton County, the Probate court website is unclear. In fact, there are two pages about weapon permit applications. The newer one you are likely to get at via the FC homepage doesn't say much of anything about renewals. There is an older site found via Google that says:
    It's still confusing as the instructions regarding police departments you can go to say "fingerprinting" and nothing about background check. Regardless, the law states you have to get a background check no matter what, fingerprints only on new applications.

    From § 16-11-129(d)(2)
    Perhaps in your county the volume of applications is low enough, and/or they support your 2A right enough, to handle the background check requirement via a clerk to expedite things instead of making you walk it to the PD yourself and pay another fee there to get it done for them? Of course a new applicant would have to do it in person since your finger tips would need to be present for prints.

    There's nothing in the statute saying the applicant must handle that independently of the court. Totally expected in Fulton County, since crony jobs program, not service, is their mission.
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Correct. That is why my probate judge does not send me anywhere at renewal time.
     
  13. Billennium

    Billennium Custom User Title

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    My wife and I went to downtown this morning, mid morning.
    It took less then two hours including parking.
    Everybody was super nice, as it should be.
    I left with a temporary license stapled to the current one. Paid $31 for renewal, $1 for having it mailed to my address, ad $5 at the police.

    I was presently surprised by the number of women that were there for application or renewal (I could not tell, it is the same form). That was also confirmed when I was at the police. The check in sheet had at least twelve women who had signed in for “firearms” before us.
     
  14. Billennium

    Billennium Custom User Title

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    I received mine today.
     
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  15. 1911

    1911 7 Year Member

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    Mine expires in one year this month. I'll apply early next year.
     
  16. thomas_l

    thomas_l New Member

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    My renewal arrived today, 51 days to my mailbox.

    Interesting. I suppose a benefit to visiting the Probate office in Atlanta instead of the N. Fulton annex like I did. That seems to be the only difference. You applied 2 days after me yet received yours nearly 3 weeks sooner.

    I still had ample run time on my existing one, so wasn't a big deal. Something to consider for others who may have not planned ahead as well as I did.
     
  17. kxta

    kxta New Member

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    Thank you for this, very helpful information! I figured I would post an update from after the COVID reopening on July 1st, hopefully it will help someone.

    The quick version: if you live in North Fulton, but not Sandy Springs or Alpharetta, you should just go downtown, and get there before they open the building at 8:30am. There are metal detectors, so make sure you are NOT carrying a gun when you go to renew.

    For my first attempt to renew my WCL, I went to the North Fulton Annex on July 7th 2020, and got there around 8:50am. I signed in (no metal detector / X-ray, just a temperature check and a few officers at the front desk), and they directed me to a big room (looks like it used to be a child care center) with chairs spaced 6 feet apart. There were about 50 chairs, and almost all of them were filled. Masks are required. They stopped accepting people shortly after I came in.

    I overheard one college-age guy telling another college-age guy that he had been in North Fulton Annex the day before, and at about 3:30pm they came in and told the remaining people that they wouldn't get to them that day. So, it sounds like at that point most all of those folks had been sitting in there all day. The first college-age guy said that he had been able to get in the building and put his name on the list at 7:30am.

    Then at about 9:10am, a lady came in the room full of people and said "The Computer System is Running Very Slowly", and that it would take a while to get to everyone. I (and a couple of other people) decided that that was our cue to make an exit. Nothing would be happening quickly that day.

    I asked the police officers at the front desk in the North Fulton Annex when they would suggest I come back (given that my license expires in early August) and they said to try in a few weeks when the surge of people might have subsided.

    What I got from this is that if you're going to the North Fulton Annex right now (which probably only makes sense for people from Alpharetta and Sandy Springs), get there early and put your name on the list.

    So, I went downtown this morning (August 3rd 2020). I got to the 185 Central Ave entrance at about 8:20am (the Pryor street entrance is closed due to construction). (I parked at the parking deck on MLK across the street from the courthouse, and traffic wasn't bad I suppose due to all the people working from home.) When I got the entrance of the building at about 8:20am, and there were about 12 people in front of me, standing 6 feet apart, roughly. Many more people lined up behind me before the building opened at 8:30am.

    Masks are required to go in. You first do a temperature check (you have to remove your mask to do that, and look at an iPhone sized camera.) Then you have go dump all the stuff out of your pockets to go through the X-ray machine and you go through a metal detector. The police officers at the checkpoint will direct you to the probate court. Most people were going to the probate court.

    Once you get to the floor with the probate court, there will be a police officer who will line you up 6 feet apart outside the door until there is space for you inside. Then you go inside, and first sign in on the sheet that is between the probate clerks. I was #11 this morning, and signed in at 8:40am.

    They have chairs spaced 6 feet apart scattered around the waiting room. There were two clerks working, and it looked like there was a spot for a third clerk. There were a mix of people getting marriage and weapons licenses. (Two of the marriage license couples I saw did something incorrectly and were sent back to correct it, and then called back up later.)

    I got called at about 9:40am. The second clerk arrived a tad late. So, from that I would estimate that each person on the list takes 10-12 minutes. When you look at the sign-in list, you'll see the clerk's initials beside the people they've called on the list before you. You can assume 10-12 minutes per person in front of you, and divide by the number of clerks to figure out how long it's going to take. Listen out for your name...

    The clerk will take your (hopefully correct) application, take your picture, and get your right index finger fingerprint on the temporary renewal paper that is stapled to your existing WCL. You have to fill out the top half of the Law Enforcement Affidavit with your name, address, etc. Then they will send you down the hall to the cashier, where you pay the $33 for the renewal + temporary WCL. The cashier at the probate court does take credit cards. The cashier will give you a receipt to give the clerk and a survey to return in a box by the door. Then you go back to the clerk that you saw previously with the receipt, and once she is done with whomever she is helping, she will give you your temporary permit stapled to your current WCL and the Law Enforcement Affidavit. Then she will tell you to go the FC Police Department office, which is across Pryor St. from the courthouse at 141 Pryor St. She will also tell you to tell them it is a renewal, which lets you skip the line for fingerprinting.

    There is a lot of construction going on in the area right now, but you can get in the 141 Pryor St. building. There is another temperature / metal detector / X-ray checkpoint at the entrance. The officers there wisely ask why you are there, so you don't bother going in for something that isn't there. They will direct you to the second floor to room 2097.

    When I went in this morning, there was no one else there (probably just because I was early), and it went quickly. You have to fill out your name and address again, and this time they want your SSN as well. The FC Police Department takes $5 CASH (not credit card, so be prepared for that).

    And then you're done. We'll see how long it takes me to get the renewal. Hope this helps someone, feel free to correct me or post updates from your experience!

    I think the bottom line is get there early to avoid waiting in line.
     
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  18. Czechmate

    Czechmate New Member

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    This was was very helpful! I moved to GA in the middle of the corona madness and have had such bad luck at the downtown location so this was helpful. 2 visits where I was told that I was SOL. I'm going to wait a few more weeks and then plan to get there around 8. How was the line to get in to the police station for fingerprints even though you got to skip the line?
     
  19. kxta

    kxta New Member

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    There was no one at the police station (other than the lady behind the counter) when I got there, so even if I had needed to get fingerprinted there would have been no wait. Getting there early, before the building opens at 8:30am, is definitely the way to go. Hopefully there won't be too many other people in line ahead of you.
     
  20. Czechmate

    Czechmate New Member

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    Great to hear, thank you!