About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, January 12, 2013

LTCFs Rise 70% in NorCo Last Year

In his report to Northampton County Council on Thursday night, Executive John Stoffa described a disturbing increase in the number of LTCFs being issued. According to Stoffa, 4,627 gun permits were issued in 2012. That's a 70% increase over 2011. A new daily record - 87 permits in one day - has also been set.

When someone applies for a LTCF, the Sheriff only has 45 days to conduct a background check. Sheriff Randy Miller is using 2 full-time civilians, 2 full-time deputies and one part-timer to keep up with the applications.

Miller told Council that the County can only charge $20 for a LTCF, which has a five-year life. Stoffa pointed out that a dog license is more expensive.

Doing the math, it cost Northampton County approximately $250,000, in salaries and benefits, to pay for the cost of processing this mandated services, from which the County brought in $92,540.


Anonymous said...

All the mayhem from Panto's Easton has led to this. It's to gangs like Afghanistan was to terrorists pre-9/11. Karzai only controls Kabul. Panto only controls four blocks surrounding the Circle.

Bill Coker said...

Seems to me in the old days (30 years ago) you needed to prove a need to carry a concealed weapon.
Those making large deposits on a regular basis (shop and restaurant owners) or some other such need. What happened to make it so anyone with a clean record can get one?

Anonymous said...

It is part of the law. People have a right to carry a weapon for protection, you liberal turd.

That is the role of the county and Sheriff, if they don't like what they are paid to do, they can leave. Many others will happily take their place.


Bill Coker said...


Then why a permit at all? Just carry. I just wondered if the requirements changed.

Anonymous said...

It is not a permit to carry or a LTC. It is a License To Carry Firearms or LTCF.

Anonymous said...

Disturbing? Calling people exercising their Federal and State Constitutional rights is disturbing. This happening all over the USA in every state in every county because if stupid leftist politicians trying to take away people's rights by enacting silly laws. Its a last man standing principle in effect. If one does not get their license or buy a firearm or ammunition now, they may have a more difficult time later. All because of emotional crap being spewed by populist liberals.

Thelma Lou Fife said...

Your accompanying photograph of the Easton PD Tactical Unit officer is offensive ... and funny as hell.


Anonymous said...

Where's Morganelli on the issue? I'd like to know. I don't like him much and have never voted for him. But on this issue, he seems to strike balance by drawing a very bold line between harshly prosecuting gun-using criminals and staunchly defending the rights of the law-abiding to defend themselves with legal firearms. Self defense cases in Easton and Slatington come to mind.

In Morganelli's NorCo, private gun ownership and LTC permits have flourished - and the murder rate (even with Easton's drag on it) has plummeted. While Panto wants to disarm his dangerous city, most of the rest of the county is known as a place where you better think twice before attempting violence.

Anonymous said...

My LTCF was one of the 4,627 issued this year. The day I applied at the Courthouse, I had to wait for 4 folks to be processed ahead of me.

In light of what's happening in this country, I would not be caught dead without it.

Anonymous said...

The delusional statements like "a place where you better think twice before attempting violence" and "in light of what's happening in this country, I would not be caught without it" are what is really driving the gun runs at stores, etc. Do you honestly think criminals on the streets are mulling over "maybe he's got a gun" before they jump you or whatever, hardly. As far as the "government is going to get us" paranoia, the 2nd amendment was primarily made during a time when we had no standing army to speak of and the "militias" of the time period were the only think standing between us and invaders. The idea that individual citizens armed to the teeth could go up against the most powerful military in the world with all it's "toys" is, like I said, delusional. Also, last I looked, the data show that the vast majority of guns are used in domestic violence. You know crimes of "passion", etc. My dad had hunting rifles and a hand gun that he used to carry as well when he hunted. No one is talking about taking those in any way shape or form. Those folks who really feel they need assault rifles and large clips are not living in the real world. Our soldiers need them, and they are the only ones who are trained when and how to use them and have the true NEED to use them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In deference to the person who thinks LTC should be LCF, I have changed my post.

Firearms for protection at home require no LTCF. I would argue for the following changes in Pa law.

1) A demonstrated need. For example, a landlord or antiques dealer who must carry large sums of money. Not someone who is carrying just to prove a point and who might very well have a chip on his or her shoulder.

2) A mental health evaluation from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, attesting that the person being issued the LTCF poses no physical threat to society. This would need to be updated every 0 years.

3) All pending initial applications should be advertised once in a newspaper of general circulation so that neighbors with concerns can make those known. All persons who live within a 400' radius should be notified as well. If we provide this kind of notification for someone who wants to be excused from off-street parking, I think we could provide notice to the public that someone wants to carry. This requirement would apply only to an initial application, not a renewal.

4. The time for evaluation should be 60-90 days.

5. The cost for an initial application should be much higher, to cover the costs of processing, advertising, etc. I would argue $500 for an initial application and $50 for a renewal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:24, Running around with a deringer in your sock is not an exercise of the 2d amendment. It is well-established that the state has every right to require people to obtain at LTCF. Frankly, the rest of us have rights, too, and one of them is to reasonably free from nuts with guns.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the ones who think that banning "assault weapons" will solve the problem are the delusional ones.

The semi-automatic models widely available to civilians are a big step down from the military versions (with full auto option) used by our soldiers.

If not delusional, it is a deliberate distortion by the gun-banners to misinform the public.

By the way, Columbine happened when the last ill-informed ban was in place and crime with guns has actually decreased since that ban was lifted (and more people could properly arm themselves).

Bernie O'Hare said...

"While Panto wants to disarm his dangerous city, most of the rest of the county is known as a place where you better think twice before attempting violence."

This is nonsense. The rest of NC has no such reputation. This is not Texas.

Anonymous said...


I disagree with your suggestions. Here's why:

1. We all have a right to protect ourselves outside our homes, not just for reasons the government approves. Your proposal (limit to those carrying money) would even prohibit someone who has been receiving death threats from protecting themselves.

2. Aside from the cost to applicants to receive such a certification, good luck finding the psychologist willing to make such a certification. No one could make such a guarantee, and the ones who are wrong would be sued into poverty.

3. Do we really want to publish names of who is protecting themselves? You would certainly have to publish addresses to make sure that the right John/Jane Smith is being identified. Do we really want to offer a roadmap to criminals, stalkers and PFA violators to locate ther prey?

4. The time to get a LTCF is already too long. If you need protection, 2-3 months is an eternity.

5. A $500 fee is prohibitive and discriminates against society's poor. The ability to protect yourself should not only be available to the rich.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're making these suggestions in good faith, but the reality is that your suggestions would substantially eliminate the LEGAL right to carry firearms. But it won't solve the problem. A criminal is not going to worry if THEY have a LTCF or not.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1. I mentioned a demonstrated need. It could be a landlord, an auctioneer, or someone who receives death threats. I do not think it should be automatic for everyone.

2. There are already similar requirements in other states. I have a friend who lives in Jersey who tells me her husband recently had to undergo such an evaluation. I would agree that this might place a shrink in danger of being sued, so perhaps there should be some kind of immunity. But it needs to be done. Agreed?

3. When someone initially applies the only way to learn in many instances that this person is a problem is by hearing from his neighbors, who might have legitimate concerns. The fact that someone has applied for a LTCF provides no road map. He may already have an arsenal inside his or her house.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4. 45 days is simply not enough time to conduct a through background check. But perhaps it is. I would e interested in what law enforcement officials think.

5. If you want something, you have to be able to pay for it, and I have no desire to fund it. I;'d agree that the fee should bear a reasonable relation to the cost of processing. But the government should not be losing money, as it is now.

Anonymous said...


Maybe I'm missing something here but everything I read tells me that those willing to apply (and who receive) a LTCF are actually LESS LIKELY to commit a crime than the remainder of the population.

I understand your current personal situation, but your suggestions of reform in this area strike me as more of a solution in search of a problem.

As to your current situation, my advice would be to continue your efforts to get action from the proper authorities. I would also recommend not posting particulars or naming names. While they might be therapeutic, I don't think that repeated posts on the subject do anything to "de-escalate" the situation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd agree that those applying for a LTCF are less likely to commit a violent crime and that the changes proposed will not solve the problem. I would argue that these changes would deter crimes of passion and some unbalanced people.

Anonymous said...

It's important to understand that criminals will not abide by the next 1,000 laws that are dreamed up. The law abiding will. But they're not the problem. It's akin to restricting everybody's access to cars because a few Joe Brennan's were irresponsible. Joe scoffed at drinking and driving laws just as gun criminals scoff at the hundreds of laws currently on the books. Prohibitions don't work. Drug use, abuse, and associated crime are epidemic in this era of prohibition. As gun ownership has skyrocketed, crime rates have plummeted. Go figure.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't know what Joe Brennan has to do with LTCFs. That's an unnecessary cheap, gratuitous and anonymous personal attack.

I agree that strengthened LTCF laws will not stop the criminally pre-disposed They will stop some people with mental illness, some people with crimes of passion and some people with road rage.

Chris Casey said...

If I could throw something in here....
I pay $72 every 4 years to renew my CDL (commercial Driver's License) even though I no longer drive over the road.

It cost me #20 to renew my carry permit for five years.

I would personally be agreeable to paying $100 every 4 years.

Now that won't stop the nutsies intent on harm, but it will make the rest of you feel better.

Also, it is impractical to try and ban fully automatic assault weapons. Just about anybody who served in the military knows how to convert a weapon to full auto. Look in the back of Guns ans ammo magazine sometime, you can buy mail order kits for that purpose.

The whole weapons control argument is moot. If you want to curtail this kind of violence, you have to address the mental illness that exists in society.

Unfortunately, we are cutting health care spending because we can't afford it, and the first thing that always seems to go is the availability of psych treatment.

You can't stop crazy people with legislation, period. All you can do is make the survivors feel better. Until we start properly identifying and medicating the whackos like Lanza and Holmes, stock in a body armour manufacturer is a good investment.
Nark my words, ten years from now, bullet proof clothing will be the new fashion rage, and I'm not kidding.

Anonymous said...

Though your suggestions may have been made with the best of intentions, I agree with a previous commenter.
1. To allow only those who carry money to obtain a LTCF is restrictive to those who don't, but may feel the need for self-defense for other reasons, if only because of their inability to defend themselves due to a physical handicap, or threats made against them by a crazy woman who has a license to carry.
2. The burden of proving mental instability should be placed on the State, not on the individual to prove they are "sane." This could be required if the State is aware that the individual has made threats that reference the use of a firearm by their own hand (or online postings). While under investigation, the loss of all firearms is mandatory until the conclusion of the investigation.
3. By requiring advertising of applications, notice to criminals IS being given that firearms exist at the residence. Not a good idea if criminals decide to rob the place while the owner is out, or away on vacation. As to allowing a neighbor with concerns to give an opinion, that's a double-edged sword. It may be the neighbor who is the reason the license is being sought. Think T.M. would be willing to allow a neighbor of hers to obtain a license, or even own a weapon?
4. The only one I agree with, as long as those days are actually used to conduct a thorough background check - including using the Internet (twitter, facebook, myspace, blogs, etc.) to check out the applicant's state of mind.
5. $500 is unfair to the law abiding citizens with lower incomes, though a small renewal fee each year (say, $25) would provide additional income and may even result in people not renewing because their perceived need has moved from the area, or they discover that they don't need the license because their own situation has changed for the better.

A further requirement to own a firearm should be proof of purchase of a trigger lock for every weapon in their possession. Sadly, most who own do not use purchase these devices, which would drastically reduce the number of deaths by accidental shootings.

The bottom line is that the vast majority of legal gun owners are responsible in their use of them. The cRaZieS are the ones that get the headlines and make all gun owners suspect.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hi Chris, Someone offered to give me a bulletptoof vest, but it's used.

Anonymous said...

What really pisses me off is that you are really not onto this issue Bernie. You are iunot it becaue of your fight is with TricA Mezzaccappa. Becauee you hate the fact that she has a permit now you want to stop permits. Except in you silly "landlord" cases. What the Hell gives landlords special rights. How about renters defending against maraduing landlords sneaking into their homes late at night? How about an old guy like me who feels threatened waling the streets of Allentown and Easton late at night? Should I be forced to lock myself in my house, like n Detroit or Baltimore, so the thugs can run free?

Stop the bullshit O'Hare, there are venues to persue if your life is really threatened. Has your been, Hell I don;t know. The two of you are nutz, maybe that was the attraction.

The law works just fine. How mmany of those permit holding gun owners have comitted gun crims against other individuals? How many gun crimes have been committed by people with no registered guns or permits? Show me thjose numbers. Your numbers are just meant to cause histerical. You use facts the way your buddy Stoffa does, just to try and get your way. However, your facts, like his, are usually meaningless to the issue.

I am sick of you people with a chip on your shoulder using gun laws as your own personal little war aginst people you don't like.

I think Angle is shithouse rat crazy. He powns guns and has a permit. I defend his right to have it becasue he has done nothing to not have it.

Stop projecting your hatred of Mezzaccappa on the rest of us. You are fighting your old girlfriend in court. Please leave the rest of us out of it.

Dan the Man!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Dan the man" is using this issue to project hatred of me, Stoffa and Angle. I used landlords as an example bc they carry large sums of money, making then=m a target. I would think that would be obvious to a person who is rational.

Tricia Mezzacappa is precisely the kind of person who should not be allowed to carry a weapon outside of her home. She has threatened to kill people and described my own murder with just a bit too much glee to be considered stable. Given your own hatred, I wonder whether "Dan the man" would make it thru a mental health examination. I know I would not want to see someone like him walking around with a gun.

Angle is a landlord and is involved in numerous auctions. He lives in an isolated area, and has experienced people shooting at his livestock. He has a demonstrated need. So do many others. "Dan the man" and Mezzacappa appear to be too unstable mentally, appear to have impulse control problems, and really should not be carrying.

Anonymous said...

Thank God, you are not the person deciding who is stable or not. The poster made great points. I know you will now smear my comment but that is the fact.

You didnot addtress the main points of his analysis but attacked him yourself.

How many permit carring citizens have committed gun related crimes? How many gun related crimes by non-permit people? Your numbers mean jackshit. Howmany PA driverers licneses have been issued? Who gives a shit, asshole.

You hate thatt because it goes to the bullshit heart of you whackos argument to take guns from people.

You are no better than Mezzaccappa and authorites shoud give both your opinions equal weight!

Anonymous said...

When a stranger or acquaintance starts stalking

They start contacting you multiple times a day.

They are anxious to move from a dating site to private e-mail, texting, or telephone calls.

They keep asking for personal information, where you work, where you went to school

They agree with everything you say “as if you were soul mates”.

They start talking about how much they like you only after a few chats.

They seem to be too interested – too soon.

If you block them they try contacting you using another different account.

They keep changing their story or somehow it just doesn’t all add up. A good test is to tell a friend what he/she told you and get their response. They will be more objective.

They become demanding/controlling wanting to know who your friends are, why you haven’t been online etc.

They know things about you that you didn’t tell them.

They seem to know when and where you are online.

They say “I know you were online because I saw your posts” or they are always showing up in the same chatroom.

They start adding your friends and family to their list, even though they don’t know them.

They talk about you a lot in forums and online. Make up stories about you or describe going on imaginary dates with you.


Anonymous said...

Before you complain about the License To Carry Permit. Remember that 90% of the crimes are performed by individuals who don't have a license to carry.

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:06, You are off topic. But let me note I am more than familiar with the traits of a stalker, and not one of these describes my dealings with Mezzacappa. Not a single one.

She is very clearly an emotionally troubled person, as any view of her pitiful site will reveal.

By her own definition, I think it is safe to say she is stalkig my attorney. She repeatedly calls his office even though he has told her numerous times that he will only speak to her in writing or in front of witnesses. In the past two weeks, she has posted around 25 blogs about him. She has made vulgar remarks about him.

Well, she soon will have an opportunity to explain her behavior to a judge.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Remember that 90% of the crimes are performed by individuals who don't have a license to carry."

That means 10% are committed. There is no silver bullet, but tightened LTCF laws will reduce the number of unstable people carrying and will reduce crimes of passion.

Sherlock H. said...

Ooh! Ooh!

Let me guess who 5:06 is!

Mezzacappa made another appearance?

Call Me said...

Back to your post...

Show the math. You say $250K in salaries and benefits. Perhaps, IF those 5 employees were doing nothing but background checks during their entire shift, which I doubt. They are likely being assigned when time permits from other duties.

4.5 employees (.5 for the part-timer) doing background checks over 247 work days (less holidays and weekends from 365) amounts to an average of less than 4.2 applications for each employee in an 8 hour day. That's about 2 hours to put a name into a computer and see what comes back, then file the paperwork. I'll bet that peak of applications came around the Christmas holiday/Sandy Hook tragedy.

You make it sound as if all they do is sit in a room doing background checks for the entire day. I'll bet the cost is not over revenue the permits generate.

Anonymous said...

let me see if I understand this correctly

LCTF is to carry concealed weapon or to carry in a vehicle.

Thus carrying a non-concealed weapon does not require a permit unless it is being transported in a vehicle. And even then there are exceptions to the rule. See accompanying link.


Anonymous said...

Your consumed by your ex-love.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's pretty much what Stoffa said on Thursday night. 4.5 FTEs are working applications. I doubt very seriously that they were able to do 4,600 complete background checks. That work would have to be done by the deputies. That's about 20 per working day.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Your consumed by your ex-love."

It's "you're," not "your." Learn the difference. I know it makes your little head hurt.

Anonymous said...

Hey O'Hare what part of shall not be infringed don't you understand? Any discussion of further so called illegal gun control should only be after the PA Constitution is lawfully changed. This is all stupid moot discussion.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about regulating the circumstances under which a person can carry a concealed firearm. The Pa Supreme Court has repeatedly said so. Try doig so without a permit and see what happens when you claim it's your constitutional right. Also, you have no idea what the word "moot" means.

eckville press said...

"Also, you have no idea what the word "moot" means."

Moot is the past tense plural of Moo.

Yesterday, as I was walking "threw" the field, a herd of cows mooted me.

Eckville Press

Anonymous said...

The real question the government should be asking is why people feel the need to carry vs. years ago?

Anonymous said...

"The idea that individual citizens armed to the teeth could go up against the most powerful military in the world with all it's "toys" is, like I said, delusional"

tell that to those tribesman who have fought us to a stalemate in another part of the world

Anonymous said...

was that picture taken in bethlum the night of the hirko fiasco?

Juan Luis Pedro Felipo de Huevos Epstein said...

That answer is moot!


Anonymous said...

It's not "chomping" at the bit, either.

It's "champing."

Anonymous said...

I am so sick and tired of this bullshit about LTCF I could puke. I pay taxes for kids in school and never had a child in the school system. I pay taxes for Judges and a court system and never use it and I hope I never will. I pay taxes for the mentally ill, the elderly, the residents of Gracedale, useless County Employees that blled the system, and the list goes on and on. So what if in a odd year someone had to pay a little extra because the sheriff's office needed to do back ground checks. Why is it when I buy a gun I get a back ground check for a 10 dollar fee. You can sign up on the internet and do back ground checks for 29.95 a month. Stop the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I did the numbers and Stoffa's nonsense about background checks doesn't carry water.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Really? Are you telling me that the County has more than 45 days? That it is using more people? Less? How did you "do the numbers?" Do you even know what you're talking about?

Anonymous said...

The reason these applications increased in number is because Sheriff Miller does nothing to prosecute those who lie on their applications. He has his staff turn a blind eye. Too much work I guess. Ask him when was the last time someone was criminally charged with falsifying info on their application. Then ask him how many were denied due to this. Miller openly invites any criminal to apply since they will not be prosecuted. I've been told Stanley Obas actullay secured a LTC under one of his many alias.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So then it's not Stoffa "nonsense," but the Sheriff is lying to him and purposely turns a blind eye on background checks so that everyone applies. How does the word get out? How comes I've never heard this before, not even once? Could it be that you are a Deputy Sheriff with an axe to grind? Do you honestly think the Sheriff or anyone would really want to issue LTCFs to people who falsify their applications?

I have a great deal of respect for Sheriff Miller, and just can';t believe a man of his integrity would do something so wrong. I'm sorry, but I'd need more than an anonymous comment on a blog to buy into that.

A lot more.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Did you ever get Stanley Obas, or is he still out there?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let me point our something else. There is a difference between making a mistake on an application and an outright falsification. The latter has to be very clear before you can even think about prosecuting someone.


Bernie, I gatta tell ya that the for fathers were not so stupid. The 2nd amendment is for protection of THE PEOPLE FROM THE GOVERNMENT!!!!Now the libs have voted a possible non -citizen as President. Well , I say that all POSITIONS as POLITICIANS SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED!!lOVE YOU TOO.



Anonymous said...

What is all this talk about turning a blind eye on LTCFs?

The primary check is done by the State Police not the sheriff. The Sheriff just forwards it. However, the Sheriff does check with the police department that serves your residence. If there were charges that did not result in a conviction or other concerns, a more thorough background check is done by the sheriff.

I'm not sure what more the sheriff's office could realistically do.

Anonymous said...

You sound like the type of crazy person we should be preventing from owning firearms...

Anonymous said...

This one comment and others were just removed off of the comment section of LehighValleyLive by the Wicked Witch:

"Re: GUEST COLUMN: Easton must rethink, expand its anti-crime strategy
Sbeltfan. You are dismeminating false information. As such, if you do your research properly, I was never charged with any violation concerning threats to anyone. A summary charge for a justifiable argument was the result, and a summary offense was the outcome. I maintain my innocence. Please stop your libel. Terrorists threats never entered the court, because no such threats were made. The argument was justified, and I make no aplogies for what was said at the cash window at Borough Hall, where I paid for documents, and was hosed, banished and left without the papers I paid for. To the contrary, the employee should have been charged with petty theft. But the all powerful Gross cartel of West Easton pulled their usual strings, and that part was swept under the carpet. If you read the MJ transcript of the entire case, I'm sure your "opinion" would change. Get your facts straight, unless you want to be on the receiving end of a libel case. Mr. O'Hare will also face a counter claim in the future, if his ridiculous lead balloon libel case persists. Therefore, consider this an objectionable comment that I would like you to remove. Annonymous monikers can be unmasked when the proper steps are taken to compel identity. I have grown tired of being painted as a crazy, unstable lunatic not worthy of a LTCF."

Bernie O'Hare said...

As a result of excessive use of foul language, along with threats to kill Kelly Gross and punch out the Boro Council Solicitor, she was convicted of disorderly conduct. She did not appeal. If she is being painted as a "crazy, unstable lunatic," she is the one with the paint brushes.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:13 is right, I amn close to the Sheriffs Dept and the numbers being given by Mr. Stoffa are only partially true. The real numbers do not add up.

This is really just you agreeing with Stoffas numbers becasue it is now your cause.

You should do some research before you just repeat what he says.

Resident of Allentown said...

I have the unfortunate circumstance of having a neighbor who dosn't like me because of a border dispute who has shown time and time again thru false statements to the police and perjury in court that they have no respect for the law or my rights. So if you don't get along with your neighbor, you lose your second amendment right? (even a neighbor who can laugh at you after the police leave and say "yes, I lied, so what?)

By the way, thanks for publishing the false report to authorities ordinance number, I will probably make use of it in the future, although, as I've been told by the Allentown police, they get false reports all the time and don't bother to even try to enforce it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Resident of Allentown, You do not need a LTCF to keep weapons in your own home I would oppose any attempt to interfere with that, but I don't think anyone is even thinking of that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:58, You are anonymously telling me that what you say has more credibility than what the County Executive stated in public meeting to members of Council, with the Sheriff present. I think I'll go with the latter over some anonymous 2 AM snark.

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.