Registrations for concealed carry permits in Lebanon County are about to enter the digital age.

Lebanon County Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a request by the county’s sheriff department to have Permitium provide online registration services to residents seeking new or renewed concealed weapon permits.

Lebanon County Sheriff Jeff Marley told the commissioners that the in-house process to obtain a new or renewed permit will remain the same. The primary change is to shorten the amount of time an applicant has to wait in-house to go through the application process since individuals with appointments will be served before walk-in clients.

“Basically, it’s a convenience to the citizens,” said Marley. “You still have to come in, but you are able to schedule an appointment and it will make it easier to get in and out. We will still have the same process with walk-ins. It is just that a walk-in may have to wait if somebody did it (scheduled an appointment) through (North Carolina-based) Permitium.”

Marley said there’s zero cost to the sheriff’s department and the county to implement the Permitium system.

“There is currently a $20 user fee and I believe Permitium has a $25 user fee for convenience,” added Marley. 

Marley noted that there are not two fees, just the $20 fee for walk-in applicants or $25 for those who use the online system, adding that the computerized version allows credit card purchases while in-house purchases must be paid by other means. 

When questioned by commission chairman Robert Phillips about statewide use of the Permitium system, Marley said 24 Pennsylvania counties have contracts with the company. According to a map supplied to the commissioners by the sheriff’s office, neighboring Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill counties currently utilize it and are among the 200 counties in 13 states, overall, with Permitium contracts.  

Supporting documentation noted that Permitium is the industry leader in providing law enforcement agencies cloud-based software solutions specifically designed for weapon permit processing. They are also the only provider that is an “end-to-end, off-the-shelf solution for Pennsylvania sheriff’s offices designed to accommodate the specific requirements of the PA LTC (license to carry) issuance process.” 

Marley told LebTown that he did not know how many people in Lebanon County either seek a new or renewal permit annually. After checking with office staff, Marley later said that there were 4,141 permits issued in 2021 and 1,883 through June 30, 2022. 

It is unclear how many of those were renewals vs. new applications because the person who handles that information for the sheriff’s department is a part-time employee who was off work on Thursday. Marley did note, however, that LTC permits are only renewed every five years.

Marley said the move to this system, which he plans to have operational in January 2023, is based on a request he frequently received while running his election campaign for the office of sheriff in Lebanon County. 

“A lot of people had asked about this because it is difficult to get in here between Monday and Friday to renew or get a new permit,” said Marly. “We did do (accept registrations) the one Saturday. It did help and we did get good feedback because we were open on a Saturday. But this allows people to plan better and to say, ‘Okay, I can schedule this and come in at that time to get it’.” 

The rest of the county’s business agenda was very light, which county administrator Jamie Wolgemuth said was caused by the summer lull. The commissioners did take action on the other following items:

  • Granted a hotel tax grant fund application in the amount of $4,491.77 for Lancaster Kennel Club to have their annual agility trials at In the Net sports complex in Palmyra the first weekend in October. The funds will cover costs for lodging, meals and other expenses for the show judges. The applicants noted that these are expenses that will remain in Lebanon County. 
  • Issued a proclamation recognizing Bryan Hoffman for 23 years of service with the Lebanon County Housing Authority, which includes time as the organization’s executive director and other positions he held over the years.
  • Voted to approve one real estate tax exemption for a 100 percent disabled veteran. 
  • Accepted the treasurer’s report. 
  • Approved the minutes of their June 16 meeting.
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James Mentzer is a freelance writer whose published works include the books Pennsylvania Manufacturing: Alive and Well; Bucks County: A Snapshot in Time; United States Merchant Marine Academy: In Service to the Nation 1943-2018; A Century of Excellence: Spring Brook Country Club 1921-2021; Lancaster...