Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Pennsylvania

Gun laws in Pennsylvania are in place to govern how residents use, sell, purchase and transfer firearms in the state. Pennsylvania is a “Shall Issue” state. The state also allows open carry in some cases. Pennsylvania issues permits to residents and non-residents. You do not need any training to get a gun permit in Pennsylvania. Two municipalities, Pittsburg and Philadelphia, lobbied in 1993 to regulate assault weapons, but they were shot down and prohibited from bringing the issue up again. However, at that time, the state also passed legislation which banned some assault weapons. The state of Pennsylvania retains gun law control, and local counties may not override them. Private sales must be handled through a licensed dealer. Long guns can be sold without a dealer and residents may also purchase weapons at gun shows. The only exemption is when a close relative transfers ownership of a firearm to another member of their family.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • Shall Issue State gun policy
  • Yes Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes Carry In Restaurants
  • No-Without a Permit Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Non-residents License issued to
  • 1,275,000 Number of Active CCW Permits
  • 31 # of states that honor Pennsylvania license
  • 28 # of state licenses that Pennsylvania honors
  • 12 % of state’s population with a permit
  • 5 Years license is valid
  • 20 $ cost of the license
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

Pennsylvania’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.

Pennsylvania CCW Reciprocity Map

Thirty states honor a Pennsylvania gun permit for residents, they are

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

These states allow a gun permit from Pennsylvania for non-residents 

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Pennsylvania honors handgun permits from these states, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Pennsylvania allows residential only permits from:

Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Utah, and Virginia. Pennsylvania allows only Class 1 permits from North Dakota.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

Pennsylvania is a “Shall Issue” state. As long as you are 18 or older, you can open carry a gun in Pennsylvania. You may, however, obtain a concealed carry permit if you like. They are available to residents and non-residents. You do not have to notify officers when you are carrying. You are allowed to carry in rest areas, state parks, national forests, and your vehicle. You cannot, however, carry in a courthouse, city parks, schools or the school bus. You do not have to honor any “no weapons” signs either. You are allowed to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. They cost $20 and last for five years.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

To apply for a concealed carry permit in Pennsylvania, you must be at least 21 years old with a photo ID to prove your identity and age. You must have lived in the county where you apply for at least 90 days or more. You must be a “good moral character” and have no criminal offenses against you. You also cannot be an alcoholic or drug addict, or you will be denied your application. You must also comply with all federal regulations and not have any felonies or mental illness. You will also need two references from non-family members. You can apply at your local county sheriff’s office, and you will have an answer within 45 days. Once approved you may pick it up there also.

Pennsylvania Gun Background Check

The Pennsylvania State Police (“PSP”) is a “point of contact” for the state, and they run background checks using their own system when someone wants to purchase a firearm. However, licensed dealers also must comply with federal regulations and use the FBI’s NCIS system to check for mental health records and criminal history before selling. Even private sales must go through the licensed dealer system, and a background check has to be performed on the buyer before it can legally be transferred. If the PSP issues a “temporary delay,” then the gun dealership may not sell to that buyer.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

PA CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry Requirements

  • The applicant must be 21 years of age or older with a picture I.D. for proof
  • The applicant must be a resident of County application is filed it for at least 90 days
  • The application must have no criminal convictions.
  • The applicant must be of good character and reputation; acting in a manner that will not be dangerous to public safety.
  • You are not a habitual drunkard or addicted to or user of marijuana or a stimulant, depressant or narcotic drug.
  • Federal law requirements

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. Download the application form.
  2. You will need two references, not family members.
  3. Take the application with a drivers license or State ID to the Sheriffs office in the county you reside in.
  4. Fill out the form and pay the fee of $20.
  5. You will be notified within 45 days if your application has been approved or denied.
  6. If approved you will need to pickup your permit/license from the Sheriffs office.

CCW Renewal

  • Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department
  • – You will need to COME IN – IN PERSON to the Court House in Norristown with the following:
  • 1. Pennsylvania Drivers License and/or Pennsylvania I.D. Card with your Montgomery County address.
  • 2. If renewing, applicant must remember to supply names, addresses and telephone numbers of two (2) references (not immediate family.)
  • 3. Local Police check card must be signed by your local police department (New Applicants).
  • 4. $25.00 or $46.00 cash, check or money order (No Credit/Debit cards accepted.)
  • 5. Foreign-born applicants who are U.S. Citizens must supply Passport or Naturalization Paperwork.
  • 6. Foreign-born applicants who are not U.S. Citizens must provide proof of immigration status and ninety (90) days proof of residency (i.e. 3 months of utility bills).

PA Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
License to carry firearms (concealed handguns)$20.00$20.00There are no training requirements to obtain a permit

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Pennsylvania

AllowedForbidden
State parksPhiladelphia city parks
State and national forestsCourt Houses (Areas Off Limits Must Be Posted)
Road side rest areasElementary and Secondary Education Schools
VehicleSchool bus
All areas of the state not listed as ForbiddenAny place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law

Pennsylvania CCW Contact

Pennsylvania Bureau of Firearms

Hours

Monday – Friday:7:00 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday:Closed
Sunday:Closed

Contact

Address:Pennsylvania State Police
Firearms Division
1800 Elmerton Avenue
City:Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110
Phone:(717) 705-8842
(717) 346-3091

CCW Licensing Offices in Pennsylvania

Adams County Sheriff Office

Office Address
117 Baltimore Street, Room 4, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone
(717) 337-9828 ​

Show on Map

Allegheny County Sheriff Office

Office Address
436 Grant Street, Room G8 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone
(412) 350-4700

Show on Map

Armstrong County Sheriff Office

Office Address
Armstrong County Courthouse 500 E. Market Street, Suite 106 Kittanning, PA 16201

Phone
(724) 548-3265

Show on Map

Beaver County Sheriff Office

Office Address
810 Third Street, Beaver, PA 15009

Phone
(724) 770-4614

Show on Map

Bedford County Sheriff Office

Office Address
County Courthouse 200 South Juliana St. Bedford, PA 15522

Phone
(814) 623-2910

Show on Map

Berks County Sheriff Office - Main Office

Office Address
Berks County Courthouse 633 Court Street, 3rd Floor Reading, PA 19601

Phone
610-478-6240 ext. 3265

Show on Map

Berks County Sheriff Office - Reading Airport Substation

Office Address
Located at the Reading Regional Airport

Phone
(610) 478-6240

Show on Map

Berks County Sheriff Office - Birdsboro Borough Remote Location

Office Address
Birdsboro Borough 200 East Main St. Birdsboro, PA 19508

Phone
(610) 478-6240

Show on Map

Show More

Reference Links

Counties in Pennsylvania