Contributed by: Todd Shanley, IT Manager and Brad Eudy, Systems Administrator, Cabarrus County, NC

In Cabarrus County, applying for handgun permits used to require two trips to the Sheriff’s Office—once to submit the form and supplemental information and another to pick up the issued permit. In order to simplify this process and reduce traffic to the Sheriff’s Office, IT developed a custom process with the Laserfiche SDK and Laserfiche SharePoint integration.

The new permitting process

A handgun permit application can now be filled out on the Cabarrus County Website.

Cabarrus Guns New Permitting Process

Once the applicant fills out the form and clicks “Submit”, the following process gets initiated:

  1. A confirmation page and an e-mail with a confirmation number is automatically generated and sent to the permit applicant.Confirmation Page
  2. A third-party tool called iTextSharp creates a temporary PDF file based on the completed form.
  3. A VB.NET script converts this PDF document to Tiff for importing into Laserfiche.
  4. A custom application written with the Laserfiche SDK imports the Tiff document into the “Sheriff/HandgunPurchasePermit” folder in the Laserfiche repository.“Sheriff/Handgun purchase permit” Folder
  5. The Sheriff’s Office employees receive an e-mail notifying them of a new permit application that needs their review.

IT integrated Laserfiche with Cabarrus County’s Microsoft SharePoint intranet portal to simplify the review of permit applications. Once logged in, employees see a list of permit applications, their dates, confirmation numbers and application statuses.

Cabarrus Microsoft Sharepoint Intranet

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Clicking on a permit allows the employee to edit the Laserfiche document metadata directly from within the interface.

Gun Permit Approval

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For example, if an application status is set to “Submitted” through the portal, this change is automatically reflected in Laserfiche.

The employee can also view the entire document in Laserfiche at any time.

View Document

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As part of the review/approval process, the employee selects the various supplemental documents that are still needed to finalize the permit (such as a driver’s license or naturalization papers). Once the permit application is approved, an e-mail is automatically generated and sent to the applicant listing supplemental documents that still need to be submitted before the permit is issued.

The applicant brings the requested supplemental documentation to the Sheriff’s Office in person. An employee scans the documentation on-site through Laserfiche Web Access and appends these documents to the current permit application as additional pages. The employee then issues the permit and updates the status on the portal to “Issued”.

Advantages of Laserfiche

Streamlining the handgun permitting process with Laserfiche has resulted in the following benefits at Cabarrus County:

  • Cabarrus County has saved both time and money by using the Laserfiche SDK to create their own custom process rather than outsourcing this to a vendor. The Laserfiche SDK is so easy to use that it took IT only two days to write the application and two weeks to go live with it.
  • Staff can now serve applicants in a timelier manner because traffic to the Sheriff’s Office has been significantly reduced.
  • Since the Tiff format is considered an archival format in North Carolina, Cabarrus County has been able to get rid of all paper permit documents, as everything is now stored in Laserfiche.
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