A report shows Pennsylvanians are more than twice as likely to hold a firearms carrying permit than that nation as a whole.
One in 50 nationally have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, according to the Census. It’s one in 14 in Pennsylvania.
Carrying a firearm in the state can be as easy as strapping a holster to the outside of your clothes and showing the firearm in plain view, since Pennsylvania is what is called an “open carry” state.
Sheriff Joseph Reigle is from Snyder County, in Central Pennsylvania about 50 miles north of Harrisburg. He explains the open carry rules are a bit tricky.
“Now take into account once you get into a vehicle you are not in ‘plain view’ anymore you would need to be very very careful in carrying a firearm without a license in ‘plain view,'” said Reigle.
Sheriff Reigle said his office is constantly dealing with gun permit applications. About one in 10 in his county have a permit to carry.
“I would venture to say those numbers of permits have been somewhat close to that number for years and years, this isn’t something that just spiked within the last year or two or three, they’ve had them for a number of years and they renew them upon expiration,” he said.
The group Cease Fire Pa. said those with permits aren’t necessarily the problem. Max Nacheman is the director of the group.
“The issue is who is committing crimes with guns and the fact of the matter is when we talk to police, sheriff’s and state police across the state they will tell you the same answer, it’s people who aren’t allowed to have guns in the first place,” said Nacheman.
In New Jersey, a state of nearly nine million people, there are hardly any permits issued. Last year the New Jersey State Police reported handing out fewer than two thousand permits since 2007.