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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Permit type||Fees when getting a new permit||Renewal||Current license amendment||Fingerprint scan fee||Fee for firearm classes||Additional state fees|
|License to carry firearms (concealed handguns)||$20.00||$20.00||There are no training requirements to obtain a permit|
|State parks||Philadelphia city parks|
|State and national forests||Court Houses (Areas Off Limits Must Be Posted)|
|Road side rest areas||Elementary and Secondary Education Schools|
|All areas of the state not listed as Forbidden||Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law|
|Monday – Friday:||7:00 am – 4:30 pm|
|Address:||Pennsylvania State Police|
1800 Elmerton Avenue
|City:||Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110|
117 Baltimore Street, Room 4, Gettysburg, PA 17325
436 Grant Street, Room G8 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Armstrong County Courthouse 500 E. Market Street, Suite 106 Kittanning, PA 16201
810 Third Street, Beaver, PA 15009
County Courthouse 200 South Juliana St. Bedford, PA 15522
Berks County Courthouse 633 Court Street, 3rd Floor Reading, PA 19601
610-478-6240 ext. 3265
Located at the Reading Regional Airport
Birdsboro Borough 200 East Main St. Birdsboro, PA 19508