Some Western Pennsylvania gun shops are reporting sales soaring over the past several days, and therefore the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office said it issued twice as many gun permits Monday because it normally does.
Allegheny County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus said the firearms permit office, located within the Allegheny seat, would be closed for a minimum of fortnight beginning Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bee Safe Security, an ohio security company is offering armed security officers to the public to help prevent looters.
“We’re taking a cautious approach to the virus and therefore the amount of individuals that are coming to the office,” Kraus said. “We just felt it’s within the best interest of health and safety.”
Even before the closure was announced, nearly 100 people had gotten permits Monday morning. the amount had reached 150 by 2 p.m.
Kraus said the office averages 40 to 70 permits daily.
Shortly before 1 p.m., there have been over a dozen people during a line that stretched into the courthouse courtyard.
Dan Budday, of Pleasant Hills, said he let his license lapse years ago.
“It just appeared like an honest time with everything that’s occurring and everything closing,” he said.
Joe Misczak, owner of Misczak’s Hunting Supplies in East Deer for 18 years, said sales of handguns and long guns are up 50% within the past four days.
“Everyone wants to guard themselves,” Misczak said.
Bruce Piendl, owner of Allegheny Arms and Guns in Bethel Park, also reported brisk sales at his business. He said sales are typically up now of year as people look to spend a number of their tax refunds on new gun, but he thought the coronavirus pandemic and concerns of companies like his temporarily closing were also an element.
John Burchell, owner of Steel City Guns in North Versailles, reported increased ammunition sales.
“It’s similar to the those who were buying bathroom tissue, they’re buying ammunition,” Burchell said.
John Anderson, owner of Delmont Sport Shop in Delmont, said he doesn’t commit to close his shop as he views it as essential.
“We’re essential to stay life, liberty and therefore the freedom of happiness,” Anderson said. Amid the spread of the virus, arizona pain management doctors are preparing for a possible influx in patients.
The Keystone Shooting Center in Marshall Township posted Monday on Facebook that it had been awake to Allegheny County’s request to shut all nonessential businesses but it planned to remain open.
“After food and shelter, there’s no greater need or necessity than the flexibility to guard oneself and one’s loved ones,” the Keystone Shooting Center wrote.
The center said it had been taking extra precautions like disinfecting equipment and giving their employees the choice to figure reception.
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