The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 14, 2013

Gun-permit applications skyrocket

EBENSBURG — Anyone headed to the Cambria County Courthouse for a permit to carry a concealed weapon may find the process more time consuming than in the past.

Sheriff Bob Kolar said Thursday that the applications for handgun permits are up by nearly 50 percent over the same period last year.

Adding to the problem is the time it now takes for approval or denial of a permit application from the Pennsylvania State Police in Harrisburg, he said.

The rush for gun permits is something being felt in many parts of the state, putting increased pressure on authorities to run the background checks.

“It’s nothing to have four of the six clerks in my office doing permits,” Kolar said. “In the past it took one clerk.”

Gun permit applications have increased over the past two months following multiple shootings across the country, but Kolar said he sees a jump in requests every time gun control talk heats up.

Figures provided by Kolar show his office processed 800 applications from Dec. 1, 2011, to the end of February 2012.

That number jumped to 1,100 from Dec. 1 of last year through Thursday morning.

The increase of gun permits in Somerset County is even greater, said Janie Gnagey, the sheriff’s clerk in charge of the process.

“We even go higher than 50 percent. I’d say it’s more like 60 percent,” she said.  

Under the current system, the resident fills out the application, usually at the sheriff’s office, and pays the $20 fee. Their information is phoned into Harrisburg, a process that takes 10 to 15 minutes per application.

“It’s tough when you have people waiting,” Kolar said of the lines that sometime form at his office. “They get mad at us, but we don’t have any control.”

Compounding the problem recently was a statewide glitch that shut the system down in Harrisburg for a period of two or three days, he said.

Kolar, now in his fourth term as sheriff, said he has been asked repeatedly about his position on gun control, be it by phone or on social media websites.

It is a position he feels strongly about.

It’s his job to protect the citizens of Cambria County and preserve individual rights and freedoms, Kolar said in a statement he made available to The Tribune-Democrat.

“In accordance with the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, I believe that law abiding citizens have the right to own, possess, keep and bear arms,” his statement read. “I will not support any efforts to infringe upon the constitutional liberties of responsible citizens of Cambria County.”

This being said, Kolar asked that anyone coming to the courthouse for a gun permit allow a little extra time, and bring their patience along.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 24, 2014

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads