Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Article in the Erie paper, my message to the writer, and his response.

    From; http://www.goerie.com/gun-permits-at...in-erie-county
    Published: November 16, 2012 12:01 AM EST
    Updated: November 15, 2012 11:30 PM EST
    Gun permits at record level in Erie County
    By ED PALATTELLA, Erie Times-News
    ed.palattella@timesnews.com
    Advertisement

    Concerns about crime might be a cause.

    The timing for renewing a permit might be another.

    And some even suggest the political climate might be a factor.

    Whatever the reasons, a record number of people have applied for new or renewed gun permits in Erie County this year.

    The Erie County Sheriff's Office as of Wednesday had issued 4,919 new or renewed licenses to carry a firearm. That is a 36 percent increase from all of 2011, when the Sheriff's Office issued 3,614 new or renewed permits, Chief Deputy Sheriff Jon Habursky said.

    With more than a month left in 2012, the Sheriff's Office has already hit a high for permits. The office issued 2,759 new or renewed gun permits in 2010, 3,217 in 2009 and 2,800 in 2008. The numbers cover only granted permits -- no rejected applications -- and include permits both for carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm as a sportsman.

    The Sheriff's Office did not have a breakdown for the permits by category. But the conceal-and-carry permits, which allow for the carrying of a handgun for protection, generally generates more permits than the sportsman's category, which allows a gun owner to use a handgun while hunting, for example.

    As recently as five to 10 years ago, Erie County averaged 2,000 new or renewed gun permits a year, based on previous figures from the Sheriff's Office. Those types of averages appear unlikely to return.

    The numbers are rising in Crawford County as well. Sheriff Nick Hoke said the county is on pace to issue about 2,000 total permits in 2012, which would be a record high.

    Hoke's office as of Nov, 9 had issued 1,791 new or renewed permits, up 14 percent from the 1,566 for all of 2011, Hoke said. The numbers were 1,188 in 2010, 1,828 in 2009, 1,404 in 2008 and 1,088 in 2007.

    Hoke said his office processes 20 to 30 applications a week, and has seen more women seeking permits. He said increased crime rates could be a reason for the increased number of applications in general, particularly in Erie.

    "The public really pays attention to those things," Hoke said.



    Statewide rise

    The local numbers mirror a statewide trend. As of Oct. 31, Pennsylvania recorded a total of 204,694 new or renewed license-to-carry permits in 2012, and 2,013 new or renewed sportsman's permits, for a total of 206,707. Those numbers are from the Pennsylvania State Police, which performs the background checks for the applications that sheriff's offices handle statewide.

    The total through Oct. 31 is more than 20 percent higher than the total for all of 2011. Pennsylvania recorded 167,656 new or renewed license-to-carry permits and 3,578 sportsman's permits, for a total of 171,234 in 2011.

    On the fourth floor of the Erie County Courthouse, where the Sheriff's Office is located, and where a deputy handles applications, lines for gun permits have not been uncommon, said Habursky, the chief deputy. He said the deputies do not ask why applicants want a permit, but hear plenty of talk about possible motivations.

    Some of the discussions, he said, center on politics and the recent election, and whether one presidential administration would be better for gun owners than another presidential administration.

    "People come in and express their political views. But is that a reason for the increase? I doubt it," Habursky said.

    He said he believes much of the increase could be due to renewals, though the Sheriff's Office did not have specific figures for that category. State law requires a handgun owner to apply for a permit renewal every five years. The permit fee in Erie County is $20, payable only in cash.

    "We are kind of in a cycle," Habursky said.

    He said the office also gets a notable number of applications from gun owners in Ohio and New York. Habursky said they get permits in Erie County so they can carry a gun when they are driving through Pennsylvania from their home state.

    "We have some days when it is very busy," Habursky said of the applications, "and some days when it is not."



    Gun sales up

    The increase in the number of permits comes as handgun sales appear to have increased locally as well. Sales have been brisk for months at Presque Isle Gun Shop, which opened in June at 2817 W. 23rd St., in Millcreek Township, said Dave Wurst, one of the owners. He said the store's most popular items are semi-automatic handguns.

    "The vast majority are saying they want them for protection," Wurst said. "It is mostly patterned around self-defense."

    Wurst said he has also heard customers concerned that President Barack Obama's re-election could lead to changes in gun laws, but not until 2013. He said worried customers are buying guns before the end of the year.

    "A lot of people, if they have had an idea about buying a gun (before), they come in now, because they don't know what is going to happen in the aftermath of the election," Wurst said.

    He credited the Sheriff's Office for being accommodating to applicants. And he said applying for a license-to-carry permit is typically straightforward, because state police must perform the same background check that a resident must pass to own a gun. Ownership of a gun does not require a permit, but being able to carry one outside a home or business does.
    With permits in heavy demand, so are handguns and ammunition, Wurst said.

    "Business has been good," he said.



    'Crime all over the place'

    Sales have also been steady at Bob's Gun Shop and Indoor Shooting Range, 8470 Edinboro Road, in McKean, which Bob McDowell has owned for 40 years.

    McDowell long has said he sees increases in gun ownership during Democratic presidential administrations, out of fear of gun restrictions.

    But he also said much of the talk these days at his store -- and the classes he regularly holds for new gun owners -- has been about increased crime, particularly in the city of Erie, and self-protection.

    "There are more people learning," said McDowell, 63. "Read the Erie Times-News a couple of times a week. It is crime all over the place."

    Self-defense is the reason 35-year-old Jeremy Dvorak has had a permit to carry a handgun since September 2010.

    Dvorak, of Millcreek Township, was practicing his firearms skills at a class at Bob's Gun Shop on Sunday. He said he has a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson for protection.

    Dvorak cited "the recent uptick in violent crime" for his desire to be more prepared with his gun.

    "We have some seen some stuff around our house," said Dvorak, who lives in the 3100 block of West 25th Street. "I have gotten a little nervous about that."

    So has his wife, Lisa, who said she is talking about applying for a permit soon.

    She said she would carry a gun for protection.


    ED PALATTELLA can be reached at 870-1813 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNpalattella.


    On Nov 16, 2012, at 12:53 PM, <matte6158@roadrunner.com> wrote:

    > Overall, a good piece. However, one correction needs to be made. You write; "Ownership of a gun does not require a permit, but being able to carry one outside a home or business does." That is not true. Pa is an "open carry" state. Simply put, non-prohibited persons may openly carry a firearm in PA without a license. A license is required to conceal carry, carry (loaded) in a vehicle, or carry in Philadelphia.
    > See below.
    >
    > According to the Pa Uniform Firearms Act (UFA)
    > In Pennsylvania, persons who are not prohibited by
    > law from owning firearms may openly carry a handgun
    > in plain sight with no license except in vehicles*1,
    > cities of the first class (Philadelphia)*2, and where prohibited
    > specifically by statute. Ref: 18 Pa.C.S. 6106, 6107,
    > 6108
    > There are also two cases that specifically state that a
    > person may carry a firearm openly:
    > Commonwealth v. Ortiz: paopencarry.org/Ortiz-v-Commonwealth
    > Commonwealth v. Hawkins: paopencarry.org/pdfs/hawkins.pdf


    Thanks. We are running a clarification.


    Sent from my iPhone
    The most dangerous place in America is a "gun free" zone.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Yeah, I saw that yesterday too. But I didn't understand this one: "The numbers cover only granted permits -- no rejected applications -- and include permits both for carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm as a sportsman." There's a "sportsman's license to carry"? That's news to me.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Quote Originally Posted by scruff View Post
    Yeah, I saw that yesterday too. But I didn't understand this one: "The numbers cover only granted permits -- no rejected applications -- and include permits both for carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm as a sportsman." There's a "sportsman's license to carry"? That's news to me.
    Which allows a gun owner to use a handgun while hunting, for example.
    Μολὼν λαβέ
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Thanks for contacting the writer.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyBear View Post
    Which allows a gun owner to use a handgun while hunting, for example.
    Well, f#*k me, another stupid law... I'm not a hunter, and I was not familiar with this. A permit for a hunter to carry a gun. Boffo. Boy, do we need a constitutional carry law!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Quote Originally Posted by scruff View Post
    Well, f#*k me, another stupid law... I'm not a hunter, and I was not familiar with this. A permit for a hunter to carry a gun. Boffo. Boy, do we need a constitutional carry law!
    The sportsmen carry applies to hunters that wish to carry a handgun while hunting, not rifles/shotguns. I think you need to be 18 to apply for your sportsmens carry and it only applies while you are in the woods. (dont quote me that is just what I seem to remember my friends telling me when they got theirs.)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Here is some more info on the Sportsman's permit



    http://paopencarry.org/pa-firearm-law-ss6106

    Sportsman's firearm permit. --

    Before any exception shall be granted under paragraph (b)(9) or (10) of this section to any person 18 years of age or older licensed to hunt, trap or fish or who has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs, such person shall, at the time of securing his hunting, furtaking or fishing license or any time after such license has been issued, secure a sportsman's firearm permit from the county treasurer. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be issued immediately and be valid throughout this Commonwealth for a period of five years from the date of issue for any legal firearm, when carried in conjunction with a valid hunting, furtaking or fishing license or permit relating to hunting dogs. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be in triplicate on a form to be furnished by the Pennsylvania State Police. The original permit shall be delivered to the person, and the first copy thereof, within seven days, shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police by the county treasurer. The second copy shall be retained by the county treasurer for a period of two years from the date of expiration. The county treasurer shall be entitled to collect a fee of not more than $6 for each such permit issued, which shall include the cost of any official form. The Pennsylvania State Police may recover from the county treasurer the cost of any such form, but may not charge more than $1 for each official permit form furnished to the county treasurer.


    Any person who sells or attempts to sell a sportsman's firearm permit for a fee in excess of that amount fixed under this subsection commits a summary offense.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    what is so great is that piece in the paper then this happend at beer for less the next day!! way to go legal firearm owner!!

    http://www.goerie.com/autopsy-set-fo...-store-robbery
    live to ride

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Rep'd you for defending yourself!
    I know it's not a good thing to take a life, but it's a good thing to defend yourself.

    BTW, welcome to the forum.
    The most dangerous place in America is a "gun free" zone.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gun permit piece in Erie Times

    Quote Originally Posted by mattyg814 View Post
    Thanks Truckman, still trying to come to realization with things but i have get support from some amazing friends that are helping me get thru this tragic situation.

    Glad your are OK.

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