SANTA ANA ( — Officials in Orange County may need some help after a federal court decision on loosening standards for concealed weapon permits has resulted in a sharp rise in applications.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 13 that California counties could no longer require law-abiding applicants to show “good cause” beyond self-defense to receive a carry concealed weapon (CCW) permit, according to the Associated Press.

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Over the last two weeks since the decision, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department received 500 California concealed weapon permit applications — the same number they received in all of 2013, according to County Supervisor Todd Spitzer.

Spitzer told KNX1070 NEWSRADIO that while it took an average of 30 days to respond to CCW license applications prior to the court’s ruling, the lack of adequate staffing could push that delay to as long as six months.

“We want to make sure that if you are eligible, that you’re not denied because we couldn’t process properly,” Spitzer said.

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The county could be exposed to liability because we didn’t process the application in a timely manner “and something happened to that person,” Spitzer added.

While the court’s ruling could be overturned, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced earlier this month the county would begin accepting applications for CCWs despite the possibility of appeal.

RELATED: OC Sheriff Eases Restrictions For Concealed Weapons Permits

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