Can the sheriff refuse to conduct an investigation for my concealed carry permit based on COVID-19?

By Robert M. Sakovich, Esq.

The initial business closure order by Governor Wolf in response to the spread of the coronavirus included gun and ammunition sales. This was backtracked in response to litigation filed by Second Amendment advocates. Still, there are rumblings of another transgression against Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth: Can the sheriff refuse to conduct an investigation for my concealed carry permit due to COVID-19?

In short: No. The Uniform Firearms Act in Pennsylvania provides a procedure for obtaining and renewing concealed carry licenses at Title 18, Section 6109(d) and (e). According to the statute, the sheriff “shall” perform the requisite background check, and the sheriff’s investigation is not to exceed 45 days. There are no exceptions to this requirement, even for public health.

A concealed carry permit is a privilege that the state has great latitude in denying. But the procedure for granting or denying this privilege is the right of every Pennsylvanian. If you are being denied your rights by a government entity refusing to process your application, please call us today!

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