State Rep. Matt Gabler, R-DuBois, will host a public seminar on the subject of Pennsylvania’s concealed carry law at 6:30 p.m. on March 24, 2014. Confusion surrounding Pennsylvania’s concealed-carry gun laws has prompted the local politician to offer constituents a free education on the subject.

“Whether you are considering applying for a permit or are an existing permit holder, this will be a great opportunity to learn what your rights are, as well as understand your responsibility when interacting with local law enforcement,” Gabler said.

The seminar will feature presentations from law enforcement members, including Clearfield County sheriff Wes Thurston; Elk County sheriff Jeff Krieg; and attorney John Sobel, as well as National Rifle Association instructor Bill Marsh. A question and answer session will follow. Elk County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Theresa Merritt said on Thursday that her department issued 65 new and 114 renewed concealed carry licenses in the past two months, adding that the pace is down from years past. The permits cost $20 for five years at the Elk County Sheriff’s Office and each involve a rigorous background check of applicants.

Merritt urges applicants and license holders to familiarize themselves with updates to Pennsylvania’s conceal carry laws so as to avoid inadvertently violating the statute. It is a felony to illegally conceal a firearm in Pennsylvania. This includes carrying a weapon inside a motor vehicle, courthouse or on one’s person. Exceptions include a place of abode or fixed place of business, according to the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association.

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