Rutherford got the idea after touring the Raleigh County Sheriff's Department. Deweese consulted the Cabell County Sheriff's Department, which has been using the extra form of identification for years.
"We bought our own equipment in September," said Cabell County Chief Deputy Doug Ferguson. "Before, we had been doing it with a local photography studio."
Although state law requires a person carrying a gun to always possess their weapons permit and state-issued ID, "Every little bit helps," Ferguson said.
"I think it's a legitimate way for the police that encounter folks with a concealed weapon to verify it belongs to them," he said.
Deweese said the machine cost about $5,000 and was purchased with money from the concealed weapons permit fund.
Jacqueline Otto, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said the organization would keep an eye on any future legislation that could impact gun owners regarding the photos.
"We support uniformity in firearm laws statewide -- things easy for people to understand, easy for them to comply with," Otto said. "Secondly, we watch for people to impose unnecessary burdens. It shouldn't be too cumbersome on law-abiding citizens."
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.