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<span style="font-size: 14pt"><span style="font-weight: bold">New Yorkers rushing to Pike for gun permits </span></span>
By <span style="font-weight: bold">Beth Brelje</span>
Pocono Record Writer
<span style="font-weight: bold">January 15, 2013 </span>

New Yorkers are suddenly flocking to Pike County for more than just cheap cigarettes: The demand for concealed gun carry permits has blasted through the roof.

"The line is out the door at times. It's nuts here," Pike County Sheriff Phil Bueki said.

The lines in Pike are sometimes eight to 10 people deep, and most folks in line are New Yorkers who have only a short drive on I-84, Bueki said.

If you have an unrestricted carry permit in the state where you live, you can get a concealed carry permit in Pennsylvania, Bueki explained.

Busiest everIn Pike County, the sheriff is now processing 50 to 100 permit requests a week.

Bueki, who has been with the sheriff's department for 30 years, says he has never seen so many people seeking concealed carry permits.

The increased interest in having a gun seems to be based on the possibility that access to guns could be curtailed through some new, undefined legislation.

"It's the hysteria. They want the ability to have a license," Bueki said.

'Freaking out'New Yorkers seeking a Pennsylvania permit have been especially arriving in droves after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week called to tighten that state's ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

"Now people are freaking out. People think that if there is a gun ban and they have a gun permit or already have a gun, they will be grandfathered in," Bueki said.

In 2011, Pike issued 1,285 concealed carry permits. That jumped to 2,000 in 2012.

And in Monroe County, applications for concealed firearm carry permits jumped 42 percent in 2012.

Almost 5,000 applications were processed at the Monroe County sheriff's office — 1,453 more than in 2011.

Applications increased by 28 percent alone in December 2012 over the same month a year earlier.

Officials have said the climbs have been fueled by speculation of a government crackdown on firearm ownership following the Dec. 14 mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Conn.

Interest in permits picked up just before the November election and have continued, Bueki said.

"There's a sense of urgency. They (gun permit seekers) are on a mission to get it done," Bueki said.

Crossing bordersIn New York, there are several types of licenses: range only, business only, target only and the unrestricted, full carry conceal license, Bueki said. Pennsylvania has only one: the concealed carry.

New Yorkers can only get a Pennsylvania permit if they have an unrestricted New York license.

You can't carry your gun in Pennsylvania without a Pennsylvania permit.

Many people like to get licenses for surrounding states, even ones they don't expect to visit, Bueki said.
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