TOWANDA -- An agreement between sheriffs from neighboring counties could change who can carry a concealed weapon over the state line. The Bradford County sheriff's department announced a new plan which will allow its residents to apply for a non-resident pistol permit in Chemung County, New York.
Some Bradford County residents started applying for their non-resident pistol permits even before the announcement Tuesday. For some of those folks, the New York state line is a short drive away. It's part of the reason why the Sheriff in Bradford County and Chemung County, New York worked together to come up with this new agreement.
The Bradford County Courthouse in Towanda is about a 20-minute drive from the New York state line and Chemung County. For Steve Carter of Gillett going to the Elmira area means leaving his gun at home.
"I carry in Pennsylvania quite often and being a fire chief sometimes we have mutual aid calls in New York and basically I can't go up there," said Carter.
An agreement between the Sheriff in Bradford County and Chemung County, New York could help people like Steve. The agreement allows gun owners who qualify to apply for a non-resident pistol permit.
"Bradford County residents are now able to get a concealed carry permit in Chemung County, New York which allows them to carry concealed through the whole state of New York," said Sheriff Clinton J. Walters from Bradford County.
"I don't have to worry about crossing the state line anymore that's a big deal right there," said Carter.
Not just anyone can apply for this permit. There are a few guidelines. You must be a resident in either of the counties and you must already have your concealed carry permit.
"If you're a Bradford County resident and you own land in Chemung County, you work in Chemung County, if you are a current or retired law enforcement officer or if you frequently do business in Chemung County," said Sheriff Christopher J. Moss from Chemung County, New York.
Some Bradford County residents started the application process at the courthouse in Towanda soon after the announcement was made.
"This is a good day for all us residents," said one applicant.
Right now, concealed carry permit holders in Bradford County are the only PA residents who can take advantage of this agreement.
"If some of the other counties that, you know, butt up to the state line are interested in it, we will enter the same agreement and work them. For now, it's for Bradford County residents only,” said Undersheriff Bill Schrum from Chemung County, New York.
Bradford County residents who receive a non-resident permit from Chemung County will be able to carry anywhere in New York state except for New York City. Chemung County residents would be able to carry anywhere in PA.