According to the bill, a person seeking a 90-day emergency license to carry a concealed gun would have to show evidence of imminent danger such as a protection-from-abuse order. The sheriff would immediately ask state police for a background check, which takes 14 days.
If the sheriff determines the person has met all the criteria, including being of sound mind, he would immediately issue a temporary 90-day license to carry a concealed firearm.
Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Brad Lawver of legislative affairs saw a delicate balance between the safety of the applicant who believes she is in imminent danger and the safety of the general public, law enforcement and the victim.
Metcalfe said the bill would empower somebody who is fully eligible to carry a gun to protect herself. The victims aren't limited to abusive domestic relationships; the bill could apply to anybody facing imminent danger, such as a witness testifying against a gangster.
"We have seen where police could not act," Metcalfe said. "People who have had the ability to use a firearm protected themselves, a child or a neighbor and stopped the perpetrator."
"Hundreds of thousands of people use guns to defend themselves," he said. "A lot of people may still not choose the right they have. Those who are confident they could defend themselves and their loved ones could use the right."