Consistent with a growing number of county sheriffs, Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh is not requiring license to carry firearms (LTCF) applicants to included references on the LTCF application. I reached out to Sheriff Welsh at the beginning of May about her position on the references, as a friend of mine was applying for a LTCF and did not know if he had to include them.
Sheriff Welsh responded that she does not require the references and she believes the deputies at the front counter tell people that references are not required. Sheriff Welsh has a longstanding reputation for being rights oriented, so her response was no surprise. In 2013, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office raffled off an AR-15 to raising $20,000 for their K-9 unit.
As Chief Counsel Joshua Prince has long contended requiring references on the application is a violation of the confidentiality provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. 6111(g)(3.1) and (i), as merely calling the reference, even without disclosing that the applicant has applied for an LTCF, is a violation of the statutory protections, as the caller would be disclosing the “name” and “identity” of the individual, as a result of the application. This issue was addressed in our Class Action against the City of Philadelphia, which resulted in the City of Philadelphia agreeing not to require references. Last November, Berks County Sheriff Eric Weaknecht also announced that he was no longer requiring LTCF applicants to submit references. More recently in January, it came to light that Perry County Sheriff Carl Nace does not require references on LTCF applications.
I would like to thank Sheriff Welsh, Sheriff Nace and Sheriff Weaknecht for following the letter of the law and not requiring references on their LTCF applications.
7 thoughts on “Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh Does Not Require References on LTCF Applications!”
Allentown still requires references as of last year .
I’ll have to see what Columbia County’s Sheriff Tim Chamberlain is doing on this subject when I take some Form 4s in to get signed next week or so. He’s pretty pro-rights and supportive of the LTCF process, going so far as to do multiple information classes with the District Attorney here each year on the subject.
The last time I checked, the Carbon County Sheriff wants the references to live in Carbon County! I should say that it is required that they live in the county.
Sheriff Welsh does a fantastic job as our sheriff, which is why she receives bipartisan support from the public. She is seen as everyone’s sheriff because of her ability to work with anyone and get things done.
Now if she would just follow the law and issue non- resident licenses.
I just called Washington County’s office to ask if they still were. When I asked why they were (in deference to the UFA), I was transferred to “a sergeant” who I could hear in the background, and shunted to voice mail.
Note, that a few years ago, my application was pulled and the references called when I objected to an un-needed and unwanted PICS check of my pistol when properly securing it at the Washington County Courthouse. I was wide enough to include both the FOAC president and my local congressman as references, who contacted the DA on my behalf.