The Pennsylvania State Police announced Wednesday that Gov. Tom Wolf has granted an extension to license to carry firearms permits.
Permits that expired on March 19, 2020 or later have been extended to May 30, 2020.
The extension was necessary due to the closure of some county courthouses and sheriff’s offices, as well as other protective measures being taken to help limit the spread of COVID-19, state police said in a news release that was shared online by the Bucks County District Attorney’s office.
In Pennsylvania, anyone 21 or older may apply for a license to carry firearms by submitting a completed application to the sheriff of the county in which they reside or–if a resident of a city of the first class–with the chief of police of that city, the release said.
“The sheriff has 45 days to investigate and determine an individual’s eligibility to be issued a license, which is valid for five years,” it said. “A license to carry firearms is required to carry a firearm concealed on one’s person or in a vehicle. Any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person except in his place of abode or fixed place of business without a valid and lawfully issued license commits a felony of the third degree.”
Gun shops were not initially classified by the Wolf administration as a life-sustaining business, but are permitted to operate during the current coronavirus-related shutdown.
According to the updated Industry Operation Guidance document that lists businesses by industry and classifies them according to whether they are considered essential or not, “firearms dealers may operate on a limited basis to complete only the portions of a sale/transfer that must be conducted in-person under the law, subject to the following restrictions: 1) all such sale/transfers will be conducted by individual appointment during limited hours only so as to minimize social interactions and congregating of persons; 2) the dealer will comply with social distancing, sanitization of the applicable area between appointments, and other mitigation measures to protect its employees and the public.”
A local firearms dealer, Lloyd Tactical in Hellertown, is currently open by appointment only from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to a post on the business’s Instagram feed.
The post states that only one customer at a time is permitted inside the store, and that new shipments are being received daily.
Many gun stores have seen near record sales of firearms and ammunition since the coronavirus pandemic began nearly a month ago, and the New York Times reported Wednesday that March was the second-busiest month ever for U.S. gun sales.
For more information about carrying a firearm in Pennsylvania, visit psp.pa.gov.