Friday, September 26, 2008

Berks County, PA changes laws to get a License to Carry a Firearm

Well it seems that my county (Berks) has taken some steps in a good direction. The last election brought with it a new Sheriff in town, and thankfully so, because the last Sheriff, along with the Mayor and the District Attorney, seemed to be taking advantage of their job, by not doing their job. They all had great alibi's for why they could never be found in their offices, they had each other. Well the old Sheriff and District Attorney are gone (somehow the Mayor lasted, but hopefully I can run in a few years and take care of that problem) and some things have changed with the process to get a License to Carry a Firearm in Berks County.

I re-downloaded an application to so that I can apply and I noticed a few changes, and those were confirmed on the website.

1. You can no longer apply by mail in Berks County. Instead you must either appear in the office of the Sheriff, or appear at one of the satellite offices. Everyday of the third week of every month(ie. 3rd Monday, 3rd Tuesday etc etc) a different borough will have licensing.

Upon filing the application a computer background check is done and if it comes back without a problem you are immediately licensed. In the past you had to either mail or take the license to the sheriff and then still wait until your license came in the mail. Now you can be immediately licensed, which is much more efficient and much safer.

2. The old application required that you have two people, not related to you and who are also "of good character" (even small infractions could rule them out)and who are residents of Berks County, AND who have known you well for a certain amount of time file a reference letter. This was giving me some trouble, because while I have many friends in Pennsylvania I do not know many in Berks County who I am not related to and who would be willing to give me a reference for a LTCF. A lot of people who crossed my mind to ask are anti-gun folks.

The new application does have reference forms that need to be filled out, and this just speeds up the process for all of us law abiding gun owners.

3. Okay there is no third change as far as I can tell, it is still $25 bucks to get the license, but I am not complaining because at least ours is plastic, some places pay roughly as much and get pieces of paper that can be easily destroyed by tearing or spilling of something.

So get those licenses if you want to conceal carry, if you want to open carry than you can do so freely without a license (unless you live in, or are going to visit Philadelphia, than you need the license no matter how you cary).

Happy exercising of those rights,

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