Hundreds In Monroeville Wait For Firearm Permits

Some people waited up to three hours in line on Saturday to apply for a license to carry a gun in Monroeville. KDKA's Bryant Reed has the story.

Video Transcript

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- As the Second Amendment and gun rights continue to be a hot topic, today, Allegheny County made it easier for people to get a license to carry. Here's Bryant Reid.

BRYANT REID: A record number of Pennsylvanians are buying guns this year, and with that comes the demand for license to carry permits. That's why all these hundreds of people are here today, and it's also why the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office and the Monroeville Police Department have teamed up to put on this satellite event.

As some folks wait in line for almost three hours, they say it's worth it to be able to legally carry a firearm.

- I view, like, gun ownership or gun possession as kind of like a seatbelt, you know what I mean? Just in case. And not everybody needs it. Of course, not everybody will be in a situation where they have to use it. But I think if you are gonna have a gun, it's better to have it legally.

BRYANT REID: Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kraus says the difference could mean jail time if you're caught with an outdated license or none at all.

KEVIN KRAUS: You know, lawful ownership of firearms and lawful carrying a firearms is the law. It's the Constitution. When they're carrying illegally, that's a whole different conversation, which we believe we see a major difference in outcomes of those situations.

BRYANT REID: According to the State Police Instant Check System, which is used to check someone's legal status to get a license or a firearm, more than 427,000 background checks were conducted in the first three months of this year.

KEVIN KRAUS: Over the last year, we've never seen this type of demand for for the license to carry.

BRYANT REID: That exceeds the previous record of 420,000, which was set in the final three months of last year.

- Gun ownership is controversial right now. So not everybody wants guns, and that's respectable. I understand that. But for those who do, for those who have any interest, it's extremely important to do it the right way. That's the difference between freedom and incarceration.

BRYANT REID: If you missed out on the day's event, the Sheriff's Office says they process around 150 applications a day at their downtown office. I'm Bryant Reid, KDKA News.