Concealed-carry permits: What Pa. drivers should know

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – More than 200,000 people in central Pennsylvania have a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

Lancaster and York counties have the most. Juniata County has the least.

In Pennsylvania, you are not required to tell a police officer you are carrying a firearm, but you are required to produce the concealed-carry permit if asked.

Corporal Zach Fahrenbach has been with the Lower Paxton Township Police Department for nine years.

“There’ve been numerous occasions where I’ve stopped a motorist on a routine traffic stop and had them tell me they were in possession of a firearm with a concealing weapon permit,” Fahrenbach said.

Fehrenbach says so far, he hasn’t had any problems. Oftentimes, the driver hands over the permit.

“The first thing I’m going to ask them is where they have it; glove compartment, is it on your hip, waistband, is it on your ankle?” he said. “As soon as I get that answer, the next thing I’m going to tell them is don’t reach for it, just keep your hands on the steering wheel.”

Civil rights attorney Devon Jacob says it’s important to listen to the police officer.

“The goal of the person being stopped is to make sure they leave the scene alive, unhurt,” he said. “Even though that may mean they have to act in a way that’s uncomfortable for them, such as placing their hands on a steering wheel and not moving, it’s still a good idea to do so.”

Joe Staudt, owner of Staudt’s Gun Shop in Lower Paxton Township, has carried a firearm since he was 21 years old. He recalls what happened when he was pulled over for speeding.

“I had my documentations, registration, insurance and driver’s license, and I also had my license to carry permit that I handed to the officer,” he said. “He looked at it and he asked me if I was carrying, and I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ He said thank you very much and went about his business.”

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