The sheriff's department didn't want to speculate about why so many people were in line Friday, but no one KDKA talked to said it was because of the election.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – People looking to get a license to carry waited in a line that wrapped around the Allegheny County Courthouse Friday.

According to the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department, there was an unprecedented number of people renewing or applying for conceal carry permits today. The department says it’s been a trend during the pandemic.

“The wait time for License to Carry is rather long today,” the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, which hadn’t been taking walk-in appointments, said at the end of October they’d try this as a “trial.”

People KDKA’s Chris Hoffman spoke with Friday are both renewing and getting the license.

“It expired and I just wanted to renew it,” Nancy DeLallo said while in line.

“I’m not even quite sure I’m going to buy another handgun but I figured to be on the safe side. I might as well get it,” said John Kraynick.

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department says the average number of people coming in to renew or apply for licenses was around 250 a day for the past two weeks. Friday it was estimated to be more than 300 people.

It was a number some people didn’t expect: “I was not, or I would have come earlier,” DeLallo said.

When KDKA spoke with Ryan Reese, he had already been in line for about 70 minutes, and still had to wait for about 15 to 20 people in front of him. He took the day off work to get his conceal carry permit.

“Just to be able to carry my gun in the car. Go to the range easily. Just for self defense mostly,” he told KDKA.

Since the pandemic began, the sheriff’s department says they’ve seen a rise in demand for the licenses or renewals.

“This is what we hear: things relating to a new administration, unrest in the country. Seem to have a fear they may lose their guns,” Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department said.

KDKA heard some similar responses by people standing in line, but no one claimed the election was influencing their decision.

“This is something I was planning pre-election drama. So no recent events are inspiring this,” Reese said.

“There’s been unease in other states. People getting shot by stray bullets. I just want to feel I’m protected in the house where I live,” Kraynick.

Signs like this saying no more walk-ins were in place. The department only accepts them from 8-noon during the week.

It is planning another satellite event for permits later in the month on a Nov. 21 at the Ohio Township Company.

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