Changes coming for concealed Westmoreland gun permits
By Rich Cholodofsky, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The gun-permits office in the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Department will be closed from today until Nov. 1 to implement a new statewide computer system that will change the way concealed firearms licenses are issued.

New licenses throughout Pennsylvania will include a picture -- a switch from paper licenses that did not contain any photographic identification. The cost will remain $25.

In Westmoreland County, the change is expected to affect less than half of the 40,000 residents who have licenses to carry a concealed firearm.

About 15,000 of the licenses in issue are older and do not carry pictures, according to Acting Sheriff Chuck Moore. Holders of those licenses can get an update when they are due for renewal.

"The biggest difference now is that everyone is required to have a photo license," Moore said.

For the past eight years, Westmoreland County has used a licensing system that required a photograph as permits were issued. Some counties had not implemented that requirement.

But permit holders with older licenses that were renewed through the mail were not required to have a picture taken.

Moore said the new system will do away with renewals by mail. The licenses, which needed to be renewed every five years, can be reissued at the sheriff's office in the courthouse in Greensburg or seven satellite locations.

Westmoreland County received a $15,000 state grant to update its computer system and purchase supplies for the new licensing system.

Sheriff's deputies will process permit applications one day each month in municipal buildings in North Huntingdon, Latrobe, New Kensington, Scottdale, Rostraver, West Newton and Murrysville.

The office will remain open until 8 p.m. at the courthouse one night every month.

A detailed schedule of date and times for the satellite offices can be found on the county's website:


Here is the schedule to apply for or to renew a license to carry firearms:

Beginning Nov. 1, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., weekdays, Sheriff's Office, Westmoreland County Courthouse, Main Street, Greensburg.

5-8 p.m., Nov. 4 and Dec. 2, Courthouse lobby

noon-6 p.m, Nov. 15 and Dec. 20, North Huntingdon Police Department, 11279 Center Highway

noon-6 p.m., Nov. 16 and Dec. 21, New Kensington City Hall, 301 11th St.

noon-6 p.m, Nov. 17, Rostraver Municipal Building, 205 Municipal Drive

noon-6 p.m, Nov. 18, Murrysville Police Department, 4120 Sardis Road

noon-6 p.m, Nov. 22 and Dec. 27, Latrobe Municipal Building, 901 Jefferson St.

Nov. 23 and Dec. 28, Scottdale Borough Building, 10 Mt. Pleasant Road

Nov. 24 and Dec. 22, West Newton Borough Building, 112 S. Water St.

What to bring

Applicants must provide a Pennsylvania driver's license or Pennsylvania Photo Identification Card with a current address.

New applicants must provide the name, address and phone number of two references who are not immediate family members.

A $25 fee for the license will be accepted in the form of cash or check.

After completion of the application, a background check will be performed through the state police Instant Check System. Upon arrival of the background check, the license will be issued.