I believe you need to have at least one gun on the permit before they will send it to you but you don't need to purchase one before your permit is approved. Best bet is to call the permit office to be sure.
you need to buy a gun or have someone do a dual permit which means putting their gun on your permit. on the application there is a spot which needs to be filled out asking for the make, model, caliber, serial number. this is something that the sheriffs check when you hand in the applcation.