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Glitches hampering gun applications frustrate Westmoreland sheriff

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ongoing outages for the past couple months with the state computer system that handles concealed weapon licensing have frustrated local officials.

Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held said office employees have had to tell residents to come back another day during outages.

“It's intermittent. It comes online and offline,” Held said.

State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said the system was down for a couple of hours on Monday morning.

The system, which was down for a few days in late January as a result of a glitch, enables employees at the sheriff's office to issue licenses to carry concealed weapons.

“We're still really busy with it, numbers are really up,” Held said. “I appreciate the patience of the general public.”

The Westmoreland County department has issued as many as 100 permits daily in the first few months of 2013.

The Allegheny County department issued 2,800 permits in February, compared to 1,500 normally in a month.

Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen said the outages give “overwhelmed” workers a chance to catch up with backlogged work.

But it's still frustrating for license applicants who have to find parking and time in their schedules to get to the courthouse.

“We're so far behind,” Mullen said.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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