By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Applications for licenses to carry firearms in Montour County are on pace for a 500 percent increase this month.
As of the middle of January, at least 70 people had applied for permits.
“We’ll probably be close to 100 for January,” Sheriff Ray Gerringer said.
The average number of people applying for permits or renewals usually ranges from 15 to 20 a month.
In December, 47 licenses to carry firearms were issued in the county.
Gerringer said the increase in applications started right after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. “Everybody is concerned with what the president will do. From my standpoint, I’m going to abide by the constitution of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Constitution, so whatever the constitution says is what I am going to do,” he said.
Gerringer said a lot of people applying for licenses are new in addition to those renewing permits.
People have to apply for a renewal or a permit where they live. They file an application for a Pennsylvania license to carry a firearm. If they are approved, they are granted a license good for five years unless it’s revoked by Gerringer.
The cost to apply is $20 with the county receiving the bulk of the fee. Income from gun licenses in December totaled $903.
After he receives an application to carry a firearm, Gerringer consults the Pennsylvania Instant Check System of the state police to find out whether the applicant has a criminal record or mental health issues.
He then conducts a background investigation. The applicant is required to list two references, and they can’t be family members, he said.
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