Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Pennsylvania gun laws operate at the state level on a "Shall Issue" policy. No permit is required if you are carrying a firearm in your home or place of business. Concealed carry permits are available to residents and non-residents with the minimum age being 21. Non-residents must already have a permit to carry in their home state if they want to obtain a Pennsylvania permit. There are no training requirements to obtain a permit.


Florida concealed carry permit info state seal

Pennsylvania CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced NO
Open Carry Permitted SEE DETAILS
Carry In Liquor Establishments YES
Constitutional Carry NO
LICENSE ISSUED TO
Residents
Non-Residents
STATE POLICY
Shall Issue
See Details

Pennsylvania Handgun License

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

APPLICATION

Follow these steps to obtain a permit

  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.

Application for Firearm License

RENEWALS

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).

Note: Applicants with expired permits more than 60 days old will be considered new applicants.
You have the following 2 types of permits to choose from:

  • Hard Plastic, similar to drivers license, $46.00, you do not need to supply photo for this option.
  • Laminated paper permit with photo attached, $25.00 You must supply 2 official passport photographs to obtain this permit.

ALL APPLICANTS WILL HAVE A BACKGROUND CHECK RUN THROUGH THE PENNSYLVANIA INSTANT CHECK SYSTEM BEFORE ANY PERMIT IS ISSUED.

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:15pm for picking up applications.
Processing hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 3:30pm.
Permits cannot be processed unless all of the above requirements are met.

LICENSE FEES

Application ConditionsOriginalRenewal
Individual$20$20
Accepted forms of payment
Money order, Cash, Personal check

Pennsylvania CCW Dashboard

Minimum
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2000
data updated

Active CCW
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states that honor
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gun laws


State Rating
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Pennsylvania Reciprocity Map

PENNSYLVANIA

pennsylvania CCW license recognition

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

Pennsylvania CCW Reciprocity

Pennsylvania Reciprocity List

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STATES
RESIDENT
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, Wyoming

NON-RESIDENT
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, Wyoming

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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, Wyoming

RESIDENTIAL PERMITS ONLY
Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Utah, Virginia

ND CLASS 1 PERMITS ONLY
North Dakota

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states
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, Washington D.C.

How Reciprocity Works In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has reciprocity agreements with 19 states. All these reciprocity agreements can be read at the attorney generals website. Non-resident CCW licenses are honored from the states on Pennsylvania's reciprocity list with the exception of those from Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Utah and Virginia. There is actually a section in each of the prior states agreements that says"legal resident of AZ, FL, MS, UT and VA".

Pennsylvania will only honor the ND class 1 permit from North Dakota provided the holder is at least 21 years old.

state flag florida concealed carry reciprocity
Pennsylvania state flag

Reciprocity Laws in Pennsylvania

(1) The Attorney General shall have the power and duty to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states providing for the mutual recognition of a license to carry a firearm issued by the Commonwealth and a license or permit to carry a firearm issued by the other state. To carry out this duty, the Attorney General is authorized to negotiate reciprocity agreements and grant recognition of a license or permit to carry a firearm issued by another state.

(2) The Attorney General shall report to the General Assembly within 180 days of the effective date of this paragraph and annually thereafter concerning the agreements which have been consummated under this subsection.

(b) Exceptions.–The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

(15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and the state under section 6109(k), provided:

  • (i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for individuals licensed to carry firearms under section 6109.
  • (ii) The Attorney General has determined that the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.

State Contact List

If you are travelling to another state and have a question regarding reciprocity then you may need to contact a person on this state list.

Pennsylvania Concealed Handgun Forms

Download Your Forms

Days to process
0
New permit

Pointers: Pennsylvania Handgun Laws

Pennsylvania: Places Off-Limits for CCW

Places Off-Limits in Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia city parks
  • Court Houses (Areas Off Limits Must Be Posted)
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Schools
  • School bus
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Places Allowed in Pennsylvania

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state not listed as Off-Limits

Pennsylvania Handgun Laws To Know

NO – Must Inform Officer

There is nothing in Pennsylvania gun laws that state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. You are legally required to carry your permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.

The Law
Title 18 – 6122

NO

“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Pennsylvania gun laws. There are no legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. They have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned by the law as being off limits.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

NO – Without a permit
Any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person except in his place of abode or fixed place of business without a valid and lawfully issued license commits a felony of the third degree. There are exceptions listed on the state website. Also, Federal law allows transportation of a firearm if it is unloaded and neither the firearm or ammunition is readily accessible.

With a license you can carry a loaded concealed handgun in a vehicle.

The Law
Title 18 – 6106

YES – with or Without a permit
Open carry is legal if a person is 18 or older and legally allowed to possess a firearm. You will need a permit/license to open carry in a vehicle or the city of Philadelphia.
YES

In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

“Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with “NO GUN” signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a “Yes” then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.

YES

It is legal to carry in the following areas;

State Parks:    YES  
State/National Forests:    YES
State Game Management Units:    YES
Road Side Rest Areas:   YES

History Of Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Image
Antique Pistol

Learn Pennsylvania Gun History

Unfortunately we have not been able to find much information on the history of Pennsylvania gun laws, if you have any information on the history of gun laws in this state please send us an email. I can tell you that laws were enacted in 1995 to enable Pennsylvania to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states. In 1989 Pennsylvania changed from a May Issue policy to a Shall Issue Policy.

Pennsylvania Gun Sales & Preemption

Private Gun Sales

Private sales of all handguns must be processed through a licensed dealer. You will be required to complete a firearms transfer form at a federally licensed dealer. There is a $2 fee for background checks and a $3 firearm surcharge The dealers are also required to provide a locking device for handguns. If you are selling long guns then you are not required to make the sale through a licensed dealer.

Preemption

There is full sate preemption in Pennsylvania. No local government is allowed to regulate firearms.

Pennsylvania Gun Statutes

"The right of the citizens to bear arm in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
florida state capitol building
Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

Gun Laws Relating To Concealed Carry

Off-Limits Statutes

(a) Definition.–Notwithstanding the definition of “weapon” in section 907 (relating to possessing instruments of crime), “weapon” for purposes of this section shall include but not be limited to any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nun-chuck stick, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.

(b) Offense Defined.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses a weapon in the buildings of, on the grounds of, or in any conveyance providing transportation to or from any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school

(a) Offense defined.–A person commits an offense if he:

  1. knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a court facility or knowingly causes a firearm or other dangerous weapon to be present in a court facility; or
  2. knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a court facility with the intent that the firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime or knowingly causes a firearm or other dangerous weapon to be present in a court facility with the intent that the firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime.

(b) Grading.–

  1. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3), an offense under subsection (a)(1) is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
  2. An offense under subsection (a)(2) is a misdemeanor of the first degree

(d) Posting of notice.–Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each courthouse or other building containing a court facility and each court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a)(1) with respect to a court facility if the notice was not so posted at each public entrance to the courthouse or other building containing a court facility and at the court facility unless the person had actual notice of the provisions of subsection (a).

(e) Facilities for checking firearms or other dangerous weapons.–Each county shall make available at or within the building containing a court facility by July 1, 2002, lockers or similar facilities at no charge or cost for the temporary checking of firearms by persons carrying firearms under section 6106(b) or 6109 or for the checking of other dangerous weapons that are not otherwise prohibited by law. Any individual checking a firearm, dangerous weapon or an item deemed to be a dangerous weapon at a court facility must be issued a receipt. Notice of the location of the facility shall be posted as required under subsection (d).

(f) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Court facility.” The courtroom of a court of record; a courtroom of a community court; the courtroom of a magisterial district judge; a courtroom of the Philadelphia Municipal Court; a courtroom of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court; a courtroom of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia; judge’s chambers; witness rooms; jury deliberation rooms; attorney conference rooms; prisoner holding cells; offices of court clerks, the district attorney, the sheriff and probation and parole officers; and any adjoining corridors.

(a) General rule.–It is lawful for a law enforcement officer or any person who possesses a valid license to carry a firearm issued under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109 (relating to licenses) to be in possession of a loaded or unloaded firearm while engaged in any activity regulated by this title.

§ 61.1. Additional Jurisdiction Over Properties.

The public areas of One Penn Center, 2601 North Third Street, Harrisburg, under the jurisdiction of the Department of State and subject to this chapter, include the interior offices of the Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation, State Athletic Commission and leased offices and facilities related thereto.

§ 61.3. Firearms and Weapons.

The possession of firearms or other prohibited offensive weapons as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 908(c) (relating to prohibited offense weapons), while on the leased premises of the Department with the exception of State or Federal officers, in connection with the performance of an official duty, is prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to attorneys listed as counsel of record in connection with the offering of an exhibit in any administrative proceeding, if the counsel of record who intends to offer the item as an exhibit, has obtained written authorization from a hearing examiner to do so.

Other CCW Statutes

(a) General Rule.–When carrying a firearm concealed on or about one’s person or in a vehicle, an individual licensed to carry a firearm shall, upon lawful demand of a law enforcement officer, produce the license for inspection. Failure to produce such license either at the time of arrest or at the preliminary hearing shall create a rebuttable presumption of nonlicensure.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.

(2) A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license under this chapter but carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license and has not committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(b) Exceptions.–The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

(11) Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle, which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the United States or any other state.

(15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and the state under section 6109(k), provided:

  • (i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for individuals licensed to carry firearms under section 6109.
  • (ii) The Attorney General has determined that the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.

(a) General rule.–No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

(a.1) No right of action.

  1. No political subdivision may bring or maintain an action at law or in equity against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer for damages, abatement, injunctive relief or any other relief or remedy resulting from or relating to either the lawful design or manufacture of firearms or ammunition or the lawful marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.
  2. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a political subdivision from bringing or maintaining an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision.

(b) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Political subdivision.” The term shall include any home rule charter municipality, county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or school district.

(a) General rule.–No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during an emergency proclaimed by a State or municipal governmental executive unless that person is:

  1. Actively engaged in a defense of that person’s life or property from peril or threat.
  2. Licensed to carry firearms under section 6109 (relating to licenses) or is exempt from licensing under section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license).

(b) Seizure, Taking and Confiscation.–Except as otherwise provided under subsection (a) and notwithstanding the provisions of 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to Commonwealth services) or any other provision of law to the contrary, no firearm, accessory or ammunition may be seized, taken or confiscated during an emergency unless the seizure, taking or confiscation would be authorized absent the emergency.

(c) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection: “Accessory.” Any scope, sight, bipod, sling, light, magazine, clip or other related item that is attached to or necessary for the operation of a firearm. “Firearm.” The term includes any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any weapon.

Definitions “Loaded.” A firearm is loaded if the firing chamber, the nondetachable magazine or, in the case of a revolver, any of the chambers of the cylinder contain ammunition capable of being fired. In the case of a firearm which utilizes a detachable magazine, the term shall mean a magazine suitable for use in said firearm which magazine contains such ammunition and has been inserted in the firearm or is in the same container or, where the container has multiple compartments, the same compartment thereof as the firearm. If the magazine is inserted into a pouch, holder, holster or other protective device that provides for a complete and secure enclosure of the ammunition, then the pouch, holder, holster or other protective device shall be deemed to be a separate compartment.

Pennsylvania CCW FAQ's

Concealed carry permits/licenses are issued by the Sheriff in the applicants county of residence.
45 Days
The application for a concealed carry permit/license must be processed within 45 days of the application being received.
Any person 18 or older and who has a license to hunt or has a permit relating to dogs can make an application for a Sportsman’s Firearm Permit to the county treasurer’s office.

For information on other states handgun laws please go back to the state laws page and select the state you are interested in.

Pennsylvania CCW Contacts

Philadelphia County Sheriff

Hours


Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Contact


Address 100 South Broad St. #5

CityPhiladelphia, PA 19110

Phone (215) 686-3565

Updates & Data Sources

DATEDETAILS
12/9/17Updated Texas page
12/6/17Updated California and Hawaii page, Hawaii page only partially completed.
12/1/17Ohio page finished
11/24/17Updated Washington DC to Shall Issue
11/8/17Update Illinois page
11/1/17Updated Florida and Alabama pages
10/12/17Updated Ohio page, added new sections to statistics page
10/5/17Added video section to Florida page
10/3/17Updated Nevada page
10/2/17Updated Georgia page
9/30/17Updated Texas page
9/30/17Entered new figures for latest 2017 NICS checks on Statistics page
9/29/17Updated Pennsylvania page
9/26/17Updated Florida page, added new links, forms and sections
7/22/17updated permit numbers to latest figures
6/29/17Updated permit numbers to 14,917,279
6/17/17updated interface, added new travel info and other sections.
Crime Prevention Research Center
Corporal Adam Reed, Pennsylvania State Police
Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18

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