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PA – GUN RIGHTS – Erie County sheriff preps for in-person gun permit work

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has once again extended the expiration date for concealed-carry gun permits. That should help ease the anticipated rush of visitors to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office once the office reopens for in-person business on June 1, Sheriff John Loomis said Thursday. State officials announced Thursday that Wolf has granted an additional extension for permits that expired on March 19 or later. Wolf first announced in early April that the expiration deadline would be extended to May 30. The deadline was moved to July 31 under the governor’s new order. Officials said the extensions are necessary as some county courthouses and sheriff’s office have been closed because of COVID-19-related restrictions. The Erie County Courthouse, where Loomis’ office is located, has been closed for all but essential functions since mid-March. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office initially stopped handling all matters related to gun permits on March 16. But beginning April 13, the office started accepting mail-in applications for first-time permit-seekers and those wishing to renew their permits. Those applications are being held until the senders can visit the Sheriff’s Office in person to have their photographs taken and to sign their permits, which are requirements, Loomis said. “I think at last count we had about 200 applications mailed in that we have processed and are ready to go. All they have to do is abide by the schedule we have posted,” Loomis said Thursday. Loomis said his office will reopen on June 1 and will no longer accept mail-in applications at that point. To handle what is expected to be a heavy volume of visitors applying for permits or renewing them, the office has set up a temporary schedule that limits visitors to specific days, based on the first letter of their last names. The schedule is posted on the Erie County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.  [full article]

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