Dubuque County to Begin Issuing Plastic Permits for Weapons

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Thousands of people here in eastern Iowa have become registered gun owners since Iowa became a "shall issue" state in 2011. But now, in Dubuque County some gun carriers are complaining their permit cards are falling apart.

Officials say the paper permits are flimsy and don't fit will in a wallet. That's why the Sheriff's Department will purchase it's own plastic card making machine.

Gun owner Shaun Fish says the size and shape of his permit to carry is pretty annoying. He's willing to shell out an extra $10 for a smaller, plastic card. "Actually I'd probably pay $20 to get it because it's that convenient," Fish said.

Sheriff Don Vrotsos says a lot of permit holders have been asking for replacement cards after their paper permits get destroyed. "The benefit would be that they don't get thrown in the wash machine and get disintegrated or they get ripped and torn," Sheiff Vrotsos said.

Right now the county charges $25 to replace the paper cards. New permit holders will have the option to get more a more durable plastic card instead. "The overall benefits out weighs how we were doing it in the past," said Vrotsos.

The plastic card will also include a photo I.D, something the current paper cards don't have.

The new card machine will cost the county around $10,000.

Vrotsos says they'll start creating the plastic cards during a trial period to new permit holders only. If that works, they'll start replacing the old paper permits, too.
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