A record number of Pennsylvanians are buying guns this year, and with that comes the demand for license to carry permits.By Bryant Reed

MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — A record number of Pennsylvanians are buying guns this year, and, with that, so is the demand for license to carry permits.

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with the Monroeville Police Department for a satellite license to carry event.

As some folks wait in line for almost three hours, they say it’s worth it to be able to legally carry a firearm.

“I view gun ownership and gun possession as a seat belt, just in case,” said 6-year gun owner Manny. “Not everybody needs it, and, of course, not everybody will be in a position where they have to use it. But if you have a gun, it’s better to have it legally.”

Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kraus says the difference could mean jail time if you’re caught with an outdated license or none at all.

“Lawful ownership of firearms and lawful carrying of a firearm is the law. It’s the Constitution,” said Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kraus with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office. “When they’re carrying legally, that’s a whole different conversation, which we believe we see a major difference in outcomes of those situations.”

According to the state police’s instant check system, which is used to check someone’s legal status to get a license or a firearm, more than 427,000 background checks were conducted in the first three months of this year.

“Over this last year, we’ve never seen this type of demand for a license to carry,” Kraus said.

That exceeds the previous record of 420,000 which was set in the final three months of last year.

“Gun ownership is controversial right now, and not everybody wants guns, which is understandable, and I respect that,” Manny said. “But for those of us that do, it’s extremely important to do it the right way. That’s the difference between freedom and incarceration.”

If you missed out on today’s event, the sheriff’s office says they process around 150 applications a day at their downtown office.