After extending office hours to accommodate a boom in the number of people applying for concealed weapons permits, the York County Sheriff's Office is planning an expansion so it can process all of the requests.

A "pistol permit" office is being created in the space that currently houses a protection from abuse application area, just outside the door to the main sheriff's office on the first floor of the York County Judicial Center, said county facilities director Scott Cassel.

The PFA office is moving to the northwest corner of the building, near a new self-help center for people who want to defend themselves in civil cases.

County commissioners on Wednesday approved spending about $17,400 to buy furniture to outfit the new office, and Cassel said the new concealed weapons office should open by mid-December.

The five-year licenses allow holders to carry firearms on their person at numerous public places, such as in stores and on the road.

The annual number of York County permits issued has grown from 3,836 in 2001 to 10,800 last year, according to state police data.

Local legislators have attributed the increase to fear of stricter gun regulations in the wake of high-profile public shootings.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.