Pennsylvania Gun Laws: What You Need to Know

As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on ever-changing gun laws…

Pennsylvania gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Pennsylvania gun laws. (Not from Pennsylvania? Don’t worry, your state is coming soon…)

Can You Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Pennsylvania?

Yes, with a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (LCF) or a permit from a state with which Pennsylvania has reciprocity. In some instances, an unloaded firearm with the ammunition stored separately may be carried in a vehicle.

Can I Carry a Gun in Pennsylvania?

That depends on how you intend to carry. Open carry is legal without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry. A permit is required in the city of Philadelphia. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses.

Concealed carry is legal with an LCF or a license/permit from a state whose permits Pennsylvania honors. Pennsylvania LCFs are issued to residents and non-residents at the minimum age of 21 years. A non-resident must already have a permit to carry in his or her home state in order to obtain a Pennsylvania permit.

Can You Carry a Gun in a Casino in Pennsylvania?

There is no state statute banning holders of an LCF or a license/permit that Pennsylvania honors from carrying in casinos.

Note: As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgment, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Is Pennsylvania a “Stand Your Ground” State?

In Pennsylvania, there is no duty to retreat from your residence or any place you have a legal right to be if confronted with a deadly weapon. Under the law, the use of force against another person is justifiable if the person who acts in self-defense believes that the use of force is “immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself [or herself] against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.”

Can You Shoot an Intruder in Pennsylvania?

There are a number of variables that come into play in regard to self-defense. Under Pennsylvania law, the use of force against another person is justifiable if the person who acts in self-defense believes that the use of force is “immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself [or herself] against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.”

Per 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 505(2.1), “An individual is presumed to have a reasonable belief that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself [or herself] against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat if both of the following conditions exist:

(i) The person against whom the force is used is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered and is present within, a dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle; or the person against whom the force is used is or is attempting to unlawfully and forcefully remove another against that other’s will from the dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle.

(ii) The actor knows or has reason to believe that the unlawful and forceful entry or act is occurring or has occurred.”

Basically, it is important to remember that a gun can be used in self-defense, not stuff defense, against an intruder.

What States Honor Pennsylvania CCW?

A Pennsylvania CCW or License to Carry Firearms (LCF) is honored in these 19 states: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Three states (Colorado, Florida and Michigan) will honor your Pennsylvania permit with the restriction that it is a resident permit.

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.

How Much Is a Gun Permit in Pennsylvania?

The initial permit to conceal carry in Pennsylvania is $20. It can take up to 45 days to process and is good for five years. The cost to replace a lost or stolen permit is $5.

Ready to Learn More About Pennsylvania Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA's Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Pennsylvania gun laws page now...


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case, and laws are constantly changing. As such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.