Think about that for a minute. People from all walks of life really, really want to carry guns in their pockets or underwear or something. Lots of people.
Here, in the People's Republic of Northampton County, they're usually angry people. You see, Sheriff Jeff Hawbecker, the only appointed Sheriff in the Commonwealth, insists on following the law. Before issuing a permit, he requires proof of identification, which must be a driver's licence or PENNDOT photo ID. He also requires proof of residency, which could be a per capita tax bill, earned income tax form, or voter's registration card. Most of these aspiring minutemen, when they seek their license, don't have any of those things. So they run to the voter's registration office, thinking they can just pick up a card there.
But it's not so easy. Here's what happens. Most have never registered and have no intention of ever actually voting. They just want to be able to pack heat. So they go, register to vote and then learn they have to wait to get their card in the mail. The voter registration office is not about to hand out cards to people who may not actually live where they say they live, and insists on mailing them.
"Some of these people get very angry" is what one voter registration office worker tells me.
"Hey, look on the bright side. At least, you know they can't shoot you."
In Lehigh County, where the Sheriff is elected, things are much easier. You just need to produce ID and two references.
I wonder if applicants list Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.