Pennsylvania gun laws: what are the gun laws in Pennsylvania?
The gun laws in the state of Pennsylvania permit open carry, and residents can carry their gun, on a holster, without a license, except in Philadelphia. The law does not allow the open carry of concealed weapons, without a permit called the License to Carry Firearm(LCTF). The gun laws in Pennsylvania operate on a “shall issue” policy. The LCTF can be obtained by someone who is 21 years old and above, and the issuing officer is the county sheriff. Residents and non-residents can get concealed carry permits.
Permissive Open Carry in Pennsylvania
Residents are permitted to open carry their firearm in Pennsylvania, and however, if they possess a concealed weapon, they must carry their permit.
Carrying in vehicles
Anyone can carry a loaded handgun in their cars without a permit in the state of Pennsylvania. A concealed handgun, however, needs to be unloaded, hidden and not displayed in an unlocked glovebox or console. Residents need a permit to carry their concealed weapons in their vehicle. Any person who carries a concealed firearm except in his place of abode or fixed place of business without a valid and legally issued license commits a felony of the third degree.
Notifying a police officer
The gun laws in Pennsylvania state that you are not required to inform or inform a law enforcement officer of the firearm you are carrying when you are approached while on official business. You need to carry your permit in case you have a concealed handgun in your possession.
Constitutional carry in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania gun laws don’t permit constitutional carry.
In Pennsylvania, residents are prohibited from carrying firearms into an establishment whose primary business is to serve alcohol. Restaurants, in general, allow you to carry firearms into restaurants as long as it's not at the bar area and also if the restaurant does not have a “no weapons” sign.
Enforcing the “no weapons” sign in Pennsylvania
No weapons signs are not enforced under the gun laws in Pennsylvania, and if anyone disregards this sign when they enter private property or business, they are not subjected to legal penalties. It is advisable to avoid entering properties or establishments that display this sign and are considered off limit by the law. If a person refuses to leave the premises while carrying in such venues, that person is breaking the law and is at risk of being charged.
Machine Guns in Pennsylvania
It is legal to possess, purchase, or sell a machine gun, in compliance with all federal laws and regulations. They are required to be registered under the National Firearms Act.
Prevention of domestic violence
Pennsylvania has five provisions under their gun laws that are intended to prevent individuals convicted of crimes related to domestic violence from possessing guns. They are:
- State law requires those who commit misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence to surrender their firearms. No additional finding is necessary before the firearm surrender provisions apply
- State gun law requires law enforcement to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident.
- Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is prohibited from possessing firearms.
- Firearm possession is not permitted for people with a history of a violent misdemeanor punishable by more than one year of imprisonment
- Anyone convicted of a stalking offense is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Gun background check in Pennsylvania
The gun laws establish requirements and procedures for firearm sellers to conduct criminal background checks on prospective firearm purchasers. Background checks are required for the purchase of handguns at gun shows at a point of purchase.
Laws preventing gun trafficking in Pennsylvania
The gun laws are intended to stop gun trafficking. The State Firearms Project has one provision which is in effect in Pennsylvania. It is:
- No other resident may purchase a handgun on behalf of another person.