Sheriff's office enables registration in Murrysville for gun permits
Kurt Landsberg had considered applying for a permit to carry a concealed weapon for a while.
But he thought the process — driving to Greensburg, finding parking and waiting at the courthouse — was a hassle.
When Landsberg and his wife, Anita, found out about a program that would enable them to apply for a gun permit minutes away from home at the Murrysville municipal building, they changed their minds.
“It was a lot nicer to have the choice to come here,” Landsberg said. “Particularly with the discussion on gun control, I don't want to lose my right to bear arms before I even got a permit. It's great because it's local.”
The Landsbergs took advantage of a program through the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office that offers satellite options for those seeking a gun permit. Each month, the office sends deputies to six different locations throughout the county to process concealed-carry permits.
“It was started by the previous administration and when I took office, it's something that I've continued and expanded on,” Sheriff Jon Held said. “It's been very popular. On many days, our satellite program, issues more permits than we do in the courthouse.”
In 2011 — the year before Held took office — 8,226 permits were issued. In 2012, about 12,600 were issued. As of Monday, 1,350 concealed-carry permits were issued in Westmoreland County this year.
Held attributes the increased interest in obtaining concealed-carry permits to recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo, combined with the national dialog on tightening gun control laws.
“There's a general concern in Westmoreland County, and even further out, about proposed legislation and gun control and the possibility of losing second amendment rights,” Held said.
“I'm fully in support of the second amendment and will do everything I can do to prevent the infringement of that right.”
Held's office offers satellite permit hours each month in Latrobe, Murrysville, New Kensington, North Huntington and Scottdale.
The office alternates each month between satellite locations in Rostraver and West Newton. Held said he tries to spread out the locations because of the size of Westmoreland County. He counts Murrysville as one of the most popular satellite locations.
To obtain a concealed-carry permit, Westmoreland County residents must fill out an application and appear in person at the county courthouse or a satellite location with a current drivers license, payment of $20 and two non-family personal references. Held said wait time for permits at the courthouse can exceed one hour.
In Murrysville last week, the Landsbergs waited about 40 minutes. It was well worth the time, Kurt Landsberg said.
“I like that it's local,” he said. “It's a wonderful program.”
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Delmont’s Apple ’N Arts Festival adds off-site parking
- Work to affect Route 286 traffic for two weeks
- Franklin Regional’s SRO tasked to watch for inappropriate contact