How to Get a Firearm License in Pennsylvania: How it Works and How to Obtain It
To put it simply, gun laws in Pennsylvania allow residents to own or carry a firearm within their homes or place of business without the need for a permit. However, concealed carry permits are required if you wish to carry your firearm outdoors in public. This is available for both residents and non-residents who are above the age of 21.
If a non-resident wants to apply for a concealed carry permit in Pennsylvania, he/she must already have a permit form their home state. Training isn’t required to obtain a firearm license in the state.
If you are 21 years or older, and are a resident of Pennsylvania, you need to fill up and submit the Application for a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms if you wish to obtain a license. Two references are required, and no family members are allowed. This form must be submitted to the respective county sheriff, along with a copy of a state ID or your driver’s license. In case the applicant is a first-class city resident, then the form must be submitted to the chief of police. A fee of $20 must be paid at the time of submission of the application form.
The sheriff’s office has a maximum of 45 days until they get back to you to inform you whether your application for a Pennsylvania CCW License has been approved or not. During these 45 days, the sheriff must conduct the necessary investigations to determine if the applicant is eligible for the license. The investigation includes background checks conducted using the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS).
If the applicant is found to be eligible, the firearms license is issued, allowing them to carry their firearm on them, or in their vehicle when they are out in public within the state of Pennsylvania. The firearms license is valid for five years from the date of issue unless it is revoked before the expiry date.
However, if the sheriff finds substantial reason to believe that the applicant may be a danger to public safety should the license be issued, then he/she has the right to reject the application and deny the license.
Requirements for Pennsylvania firearms license eligibility
For better understanding, here are the requirements to be eligible for a Pennsylvania CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) License:
- The applicant must be at least 21 years of age and must have a state ID or driver’s license.
- The applicant should have been a resident of the county the application is filed with for at least 90 days.
- The applicant should not be a danger to the safety of the public should they be allowed to carry their firearm outdoors.
- The applicant should not have any previous criminal convictions.
- The applicant must not be addicted to alcohol, or any type of drug whether it be marijuana, narcotic drugs, or medical drugs such as stimulants and depressants.
- The applicant must fulfill the requirements laid down by the Federal Law as well.
It is important to note that just because an individual possesses a license to carry firearms in the state of Pennsylvania, it doesn’t mean that he/she license to purchase. Thorough background checks are still required for those who wish to purchase a firearm from licensed dealers.
Renewing your license
If you wish to be able to continue carrying your firearm in public after 5 years, then you must renew your license. Applicants must carry their driver’s license or state ID with them, along with contact details of two references who are not family members. You will need to pay a fixed fee as well.