New Castle News

January 5, 2013

Record numbers have concealed weapon permits

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — About 6,000 Lawrence County residents are licensed to carry concealed weapons.

In the past few months, Lawrence County Sheriff Perry Quahliero, who issues permits for concealed weapons, said he has seen twice the number of applicants than a year ago.

“People make requests for a number of reasons, generally they come in and say they are making the request for protection,” he said.

He noted that many county residents have carried permits for many years, “whether they carry a gun or not. Some just feel more secure knowing that they can (legally) carry a gun.”

Quahliero said he has seen more interest in carry permits since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“Sheriffs from the state e-mail each other,” Quahliero said. “We are all seeing more interest in permits to carry.”

Owning and carrying guns for personal protection is a nationwide trend, he said.

According to the crime.about.com website, in Pennsylvania:

•Permits to carry a concealed weapon are required if carrying a handgun. Permits are not required to purchase, register or license handguns, rifles or shotguns or to carry rifles and shotguns.

•The permits generally are valid for five years unless revoked sooner for good cause.

•Precluded from obtaining carry permits, under state law, are individuals of a character or reputation of a person likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety; anyone currently charged or convicted of certain crimes; a habitual drunkard or abuser of controlled substances; anyone of unsound mind or having been involuntarily committed to a mental institution; or anyone dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)