State Laws

Pennsylvania Gun Laws


Pennsylvania Gun Law Details
Certain states are known for their hunting preserves and have what are considered by many to be "friendly gun laws." Other states have residents who trade and collect a vast array of antique firearms. Often these antique firearms are used in reenactments for famous Civil War or Revolutionary battles.

Pennsylvania is a state which embraces both of those gun enthusiast types and has adapted their state gun laws accordingly. For the record, an antique firearm is considered to be any gun manufactured before 1898 that uses a matchlock, flintlock or percussion cap firing system.

Gun Possession Laws in Pennsylvania
If you are a resident of Pennsylvania you do not need a license to own a rifle, shotgun or handgun and keep it in your home or business. If you are under the age of 18 you are not permitted to possess a handgun unless you are being supervised by your parent or guardian and directly involved with any type of sport shooting or training course.

You are not allowed to possess any type of firearm if you are a convicted felon or a fugitive from the law. If you have been convicted of a controlled substance offense within the prior two years you are also not allowed to own a firearm. The same restrictions apply to anyone who is an illegal alien, or was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.

If you do own any type of firearm but have a protection from abuse court order issued against you then you are required to surrender your firearm. Failure to do so can result in being charged and convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a five year jail sentence and $10,000 fine.

Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Pennsylvania
In order to carry any type of handgun in your car or truck or to carry that same concealed weapon you need to either obtain a license to carry or a Sportsman's Firearm Permit. The Sportsman's Firearm Permit only applies to firearms used for hunting and trapping such as rifles and shotguns. The fee for the license to carry is $6 while the Sportsman's Firearm Permit is $19.00

For a license to carry permit you need to apply to the chief of police in Philadelphia or the sheriff in the county where you live.

Among the reasons for being denied a license to carry are if it is determined that you might "act in a dangerous manner", if you have problem with alcohol or drugs, if you're found to be of unsound mind or were dishonorably discharged from any branch of the military. If you obtain the license, you are required to show it to any law enforcement officer who asks to see that.

Just because you have a license to carry or even a Sportsman's Firearm Permit doesn't mean you can still carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in your car. That's still against the law in Pennsylvania. It's also against the law to carry any handgun on public streets or at public facilities unless you have the proper license. You're also restricted from carrying any firearm onto the grounds of a school unless it is being use specifically for teaching or training purposes.

See also:
Pennsylvania Felony
Pennsylvania Divorce
Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Laws
Pennsylvania Expungement External link (opens in new window)