Concealed Carry Laws for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State Gun And Self-Defense Laws: YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL. *Always Consult An Attorney.
home, workplace, occupied vehicle.
How to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in Pennsylvania
Only an individual who is 21 years of age or older may apply for a license to carry a firearm. A completed application must be submitted to the Sheriff of the county in which you reside or if you are a resident of a city of the first class, you must then apply with the Chief of Police of that city along with the required fee(s).
Individuals who are 21 years of age or older and are NOT Pennsylvania residents may apply for a license by submitting a completed Application to any Pennsylvania County Sheriff’s office along with the required fee(s).
*Pennsylvania is considered an “open carry” state, which means that it is generally legal for an adult to openly carry a firearm without a permit. In fact, according to Section 21 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution, every citizen has a right “…to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State...” (Penn. Stat. and Con. Stat. Art. I § 21.)
*However, Pennsylvania’s open carry policy does not mean that everyone may have a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. While you may carry a concealed weapon in your own house or fixed place of business without a permit, you are required to obtain a special concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon under most other circumstances. (18 Penn. Stat. and Con. Stat. § 1290.4.)
For more info see the Pennsylvania State Police website: Click Here
List of Reciprocity States: CLICK HERE
Pennsylvania does not recognizes non-resident permits or licenses from Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Utah and Virginia.
Concealed Carry Permits In Pennsylvania Is Governed By A State Constitution
State constitutions generally govern the ability to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, however, not all states require them. There are states like; Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Kansas, Oaklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, which include what’s called “constitutional carry” laws in their legal structure, and a permit is not required to carry a concealed firearm. There are other stipulations within constitutional carry, however, that demand that anyone carrying a concealed weapon identify it when in contact with any Peace Officer. Failure to do so can result in felony charges being filed. Make sure you know the laws in Pennsylvania.
Do you know the laws where you live in Pennsylvania, you may be able to take advantage of the streamlined application process that exists within “Shall Issue” states. The standard approval process usually includes a background check, one or more required classes, qualification with your firearm (safety and marksmanship), and paying the required fee. Currently, Utah, Nevada, and Florida are the easiest states to obtain a Shall Issue CCW.
Concealed carry laws, or CCW’s, in Pennsylvania refers to the legally issued permit which allows for the carrying of a handgun or other weapon in a concealed manner within any place open to the general public.
Not all weapons that fall under concealed carry state laws in Pennsylvania are lethal, there are some states that regulate non-lethal items such a pepper spray that are carried over a set volume requiring the obtaining of a CCW permit. (In some states non-lethal items require a separate permit)
Concealed Carry Permits In Pennsylvania Are Different From Other States
While obtaining a Concealed Carry permit requires an application for most citizens, even when acquiring one, it doesn’t mean that it is free from restrictions. For instance, in Pennsylvania you may only be allowed to carry a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol, or you may only be allowed to carry a specific caliber of firearm.
Additionally, you may have to undergo testing for proficiency regarding weapon safety and marksmanship, and in some instances, your CCW permissions may be limited to the county or city where the permit was issued. Where proficiency testing does occur, it usually happens on either an annual or semi-annual basis.
Concealed Carry Education
In order to obtain a Concealed Carry permit, most states require citizens to take a concealed carry education course in-person. Once they complete the entire course, they are eligible to purchase a permit/license. Typically, a course will consist of two sections: theory and hands-on training. Generally, most people would rather take the theory portion of the course on their own time, in the comfort of their own home. Thankfully, there are a few states that allow qualified applicants to take the theory portion online, and the following states happen to be one of these states. Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Texas, Utah, and Virginia!
If you do decide to take a concealed carry course online, We recommend ConcealedCarry-Ed . This handgun education program is committed to delivering the most up-to-date material that is both accurate and meets the state’s education requirements. After passing the course, you can print out your certificate. This certificate is proof that you have taken and completed the online course. Some states will require you to take a field day after taking the course. In other words, you will still have to take the physical portion of the test.
Bring your certificate to your field day expert as proof that you have taken and completed the theory portion of the course. Once you complete all the requirements and passed all the exams, you should be able to apply for your permit/license.
There are three types of Concealed Carry In States, Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry
Although some issuers of CCWs are not as strict as others, acquiring a CCW in Pennsylvania may not be an easy process. There are “Shall Issue” states and “May Issue” states, ( and Constitutional Carry which do not require any permit) and if your state happens to be a “May Issue” state, then the local authorities are generally given discretion as to whether they believe it should be issued or not. However, no matter which type of issuance your state’s laws command, you will still have to go through a lengthy application process. In most locales, this means a long application requiring extensive information, some may also require a convincing letter that provides justification for your need of a Concealed Carry permit, and possible an oral interview as well.
Every State's Concealed Carry Laws Are Unique In Pennsylvania
While in Pennsylvania there is no current federal law that specifically address the issuance of concealed carry permits for private citizens as each state is responsible for the control of concealed carry permits within its sovereign borders. All 50 states have passed laws allowing their respective residents to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from their local Sheriff’s office or Chief of police.
In all states and in Pennsylvania the only federal law concerning CCW’s is the Peace Officer Safety Act of 2004, (H.R. 218) to lean about this and all other states Concealed Carry Laws see our database on our website US Precision Defense where we maintain a comprehensive listing of every States weapons laws.
Find out how to obtain a CCW - CHL in every State by clicking here; concealed carry permits