Montgomery County PA LTC Permits On Hold

On 3/20, the Montgomery County Sheriff shut down the processing of new carry permits. Other counties in PA are still processing permits. According to the law (as far as I know), the Sheriff has 45 days to do the background check to determine if the person is eligible for a license to carry. They haven’t officially extended that time frame, but they did extend the renewals if they expired until 5/30. The last update says they say they’re not processing any applications until they figure out when they are returning, and who knows when that is.

Is this legal? Do people like me have any recourse or other option?

I applied for my CCW permit on March 23rd so it’s been 43 days (as of 5/5) since I sent in my application.

From the Sheriff

COVID-19 Guidelines

In accordance with state and county directives to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, NO GUN PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESSING WILL OCCUR AT THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURT HOUSE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Please do not come to the special services/gun permit office in the court house to drop off or pick up an application, permit, permit renewal or 218 permit during this period. YOU WILL BE TURNED AWAY.

Applications can still be filled out and submitted online, but due to exigent circumstances they will not be processed until 30 days after submission.

We acknowledge the inconvenience this temporary policy presents and appreciate your continued cooperation.

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I would double check with the state laws - and COVID is probably playing a part in this whether it’s legal or not.

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Yes, it is related to COVID, but most other counties in the state are still processing applications and issuing new permits. Some do it online, some send it out by mail.

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You can’t get a permit in NY right now.

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I cannot give advice on Pennsylvania law. But, 18 PCS 6109(e)(1) seems to require the issuance of a permit by the sheriff if after an investigation, not to exceed 45 days, no good cause to deny the license exists.

Take a look at the following blog. https://blog.princelaw.com/2020/03/19/some-pennsylvania-sheriffs-violating-the-law-and-their-oath-by-refusing-to-process-license-to-carry-firearm-applications-and-subjecting-individuals-to-potential-prosecution/

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Just wrote to my state senator. Thanks for the info.

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In case anyone was curious. I heard back from the Senator’s office as well as the gun permit office. Someone from the Senator’s office spoke with the Sheriff and they said they are working on a plan to re-open but it’s totally up to the courts.

Response from Senator’s office:

per the orders of Judge Delricci, President Judge, that the Montgomery County Court and all offices in the courthouse building are closed due to the Commonwealth’s pandemic guidelines. How this impacts gun carry permits is that all applications are on hold until the Sheriff’s office reopens. Once the office reopens, the applications submitted will be processed and background checks will be completed.

Response from gun permit office:

Perhaps 05/18/20 but subject to change. Please check back at that time for further updates.

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Anyone have news on Philadelphia? I know PPD (Philadelphia Police Department)'s GPU (Gun Permit Unit) had gotten some bad press over this, but I haven’t found anything stating whether they were taking apps right NOW or not.

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