Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On The Road Again and Again and Again...

...all throughout the day yesterday since breakfast in what seemed like a never ending drive to here and there. In all I accomplished little but did enjoy a lot of the drive through some pretty country in upstate NY and eastern PA. Right after my breakfast, of three sausages Z(darned good sized too), three sunny side up eggs, two slices of toast, well done home fries and a couple of cups of Joe, I headed out from Binghamton, NY to the Susquehanna County Sheriff's Office I to see if I could get myself a nonresident PA pistol permit. I had been planning on going hiking but the rain was coming down in torrents so I figured I would try to get the license first and maybe hike later if the weather improved.

As for getting the license, I had called in advance, that was day before yesterday, and was told they do issue them to nonresidents without a hitch. Whomever I spoke to on the phone was either full of shit or had no clue what she was talking about. When I got there, the cops at the entrance told me there was absolutely no hope of me getting a PA pistol permit from Susquehanna County unless I owned property in PA. I asked if that was a state or county law, regulation or requirement and he said his "chief" and then more explicitly said "the sheriff" told him that was his requirement for out of state types. The officer was nice enough to tell me that there still were two counties issuing to nonresidents and one of them was Lackawanna County and that their SO was in Scranton, PA. He got me the number and I was ready to go. Before I left, the officer told me a few things about NYers who had come to their department to get licenses, he said there had been more of them than residents on line each day. He also said they had problems with NY State not notifying PA of license holders who had been arrested subsequent to acquiring the PA nonresident permit. I kind of, sort of, most assuredly was left with the impression that NY residents going through the Susquehanna SO either had been problematic pains in the arse or that the chief just did not like NY residents. Oh well, it was time to move on.

As soon as I got to my car, I gave the Lackawanna County SO a call. The lady I spoke to cheerily told me sure they still issue nonresident pistol license, even to NYers. I drove the 40 miles or so further south, parked on the street at  meter, left my belt knife and pocket knife in the car along with some other accouterments and headed into the courthouse. Cops at the metal detector in this courthouse told me to head to the SO's office on the first floor and they would take care of me. A female officer also told me their printer was down for the licenses! I felt an "oh-oh" in my gut but kept my mouth shut about what I was thinking and headed up one flight from the ground level. Once there a friendly officer greeted me, told me to fill out a form (also told me the one I printed up on the net was worthless in their county) and copied my driver's license and NY pistol license. When I was done with the new form, which was indeed somewhat different than the online form, he directed me to a female officer who was busy helping another applicant, an elderly PA resident. She took about another 5 or 10 minutes with her and then took my application. Then she took my photo too. We shared some small talk and she was very pleasant. After about 5 or 10 minutes of waiting, as she did whatever she had to do with her, she told me everything was in order and I had passed muster (am guessing she ran criminal history and wants/warrants checks). That was it except for $20.00 I had to pay and them giving me my license. Then she reminded me of what the other officer downstairs had told me, their printer was broken and she could not print the license and would have to mail it to me once they got a new printer. She also told me that it was now legal for me to carry under the license in PA and if I got stopped by the police for anything and they discovered I was armed, my license would be on file and would come up in their computer if they checked. I asked for a receipt, got it, said my goodbyes and took off to get other things one. As I was leaving, all I could think was that: Oh well, I positively, definitely, without a doubt almost was issued my PA nonresident pistol license today. I am now eagerly awaiting its delivery.

After that was done, I thought of what to do next and wound up driving to a Gander Mountain that was quite close by. Pretty much all I did there was window shopping but since I had decided I would get in my hike after all, I bought a box of 308WIN ammo. I figured I'd do a little sighting in before or after my hike. Then I headed toward the state land I wanted to hike, back in NY but never made it. I got detoured at a couple of small mom & pop sporting good shops to look for crawfish and minnows to bring home. I forgot my wading shoes and my minnow trap so decided just to buy some. My turtle loves em to death. The first place did not have any crawfish and his price for minnows was about double what I had expected so I passed. The next place was closed down and after I saw it I recalled that I went there last year and it had been closed then already. Oh well, the weather had turned crappy again so I just drove around on old country two lane roads, including over a one lane bridge, and enjoyed the scenery instead of going for a hike. Too bad I did not have my waders and minnow trap, I would have looked for crayfish in the local streams and dropped the trap in deep spots regardless of the weather. Oh well, I reluctantly headed back toward home but wound up making a big detour, to the scenic route, that probably added about 30 to 45 minutes to my expected 3 hour drive. It was worth the extra time since I only encountered about another 15 to 20 cars going my way for the more than 80-90 miles I drove it and it was a peaceful scenic ride.

Made one more stop at another bait & tackle shop in Narrowsburg, NY. No crayfish there either. They told me that NY State DEC recently sent them a letter saying it was now illegal to sell any crayfish because, according to the shop proprietor, they now have been listed as an endangered species. We had a laugh over that, at the DECs expense, because crawfish are everywhere, sort of like freshwater roaches or rats. Then they showed the letter to me. As if often the case, government regulations get misunderstood and this was another instance of that. The letter they showed stated that it was now illegal to import, possess, distribute Orconectes rusticus, the Rusty Crayfish which is listed as an invasive species and not as an endangered one. Judging by the reaction of the shopkeepers to that letter and my experience with seeing such regulations being misinterpreted in the past, I am guessing that not one bait and tackle shop in NY will be selling crayfish for bait this year, even if legal species. I guess that if I want any for bait or my turtle, I'll have to remember my wading shoes next time I go upstate and then I'll see what I can to do to help decimate this not native and invasive species from our waters.

This last bait & tackle shop, did have minnows (shiners) though and at a decent price too although I would have expected an higher price at this place. So, I picked up a couple of dozen. They give my turtle some good exercise as he stalks em or flat out tries to outswim them to catch them for dinner. The ones he cannot catch will live to a fine old age for bait fish and will be well cared for. Funny, the clerk insisted I take a receipt even though I paid cash and did not need one as far as I was concerned. Truth is though, I did need a receipt due to more NYS DEC regulations. Seems that there is some fishy disease that the minnows in state waters have and they are trying to prevent them from spreading so you are not allowed to transport a minnow away from the body of water where you caught it and store bought ones have to be certified disease free. Thus the receipt to prove they had been certified. Maybe it was lucky for me that I had forgotten my minnow trap at hone because I had forgotten about that law too. Then again, I would have been transporting the minnows not to another body of water for bait but to a fish tank in my basement. Something tells me though that would not have held water had I been stopped by a DEC officer with a bunch of wild caught minnows in my minnow bucket.

Homeward bound after that and right into the tail end of rush hour traffic. That dampened my spirits more so than did the rain over most of it. In all though, I had a nice day driving through the NY countryside and getting some truly spectacular views of the Delaware River and the countryside. Accomplished getting my PA pistol permit - well almost, sort of, kind of and am looking forward to my next trip during which I will have my minnow trap and my wadding shoes.

All the best,
Glenn B



saicny said...

How are you, I was wondering why you wanted to get a non-resident carry permit in PA. Doesn't that state abide by HR218 (LEOSA)

Glenn B said...

Hi Al,

Sure PA probably honors it in most cases but if you carry within 1,000feet of a school zone (as per a totally different federal law) you can be arrested, charged and convicted if you do not have a permit if the state you are in requires one. LEOSA does not protect you from prosecution under that law at all and my understanding is that there have been prosecutions under it for guys who had been carrying under LEOSA.

I probably will be getting VA, NH, FL, AZ and UT too as my finances allow.

Hope all is well.

Later 4U,