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Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Updated: 05/02/2019
Carry allowed with my Pennsylvania permit?
Yes
Yes, With Restrictions
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
No

Summary of Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Are you a responsibly armed American that is considering attending the USCCA Expo in Pittsburgh from May 17-19? Would you like to attend to learn more about defending yourself and your loved ones? Are you concerned about how Pittsburgh's newly enacted ordinances might impact the Expo? There is no need for concern! The ban on large-capacity magazines, facsimile firearms and the discharge of firearms in the city won't go into effect until June 9, 2019 at the earliest.
 
We’ll see you in Pittsburgh!

Pennsylvania is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the county level by the sheriff’s office.

There is no permit required to purchase firearms and although there is no comprehensive firearms registration, the state police maintain a database of all handgun buyers. Private-party transfers of handguns must be conducted through a licensed dealer or at a county sheriff’s office, and a background check is required. These requirements do not apply to transfers between spouses, parents and children, or grandparents and grandchildren. 

Open carry is legal in Pennsylvania for anyone 18 or older who is legally allowed to possess a firearm. You will need a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (LCF) or a permit/license from a state with which PA has reciprocity in order to open or conceal carry in a vehicle and to open carry 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 that Pennsylvania honors. Pennsylvania LCF are issued to residents and non-residents with the minimum age of 21 years old. Non-residents must already have a permit to carry in their home state in order to obtain a Pennsylvania permit. There is no training requirement. In terms of reciprocity, Pennsylvania  will only honor resident CCW licenses from states with which it has a reciprocity agreement.

Pennsylvania is a Castle Doctrine state and has a "stand your ground" law. There is no duty to retreat in your residence or any place where you have a legal right to be if confronted with a deadly weapon or an object that appears to be one. Under the law, the use of force against another person is justifiable if the person who acts in self-defense believe that the use of force is: “immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.”

1310k
Permits Issued
12.8M
State Population
10.23%
Permit Percentage
29
States Honored
32
Reciprocating States
21
Minimum Age to CC

Pennsylvania Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Pennsylvania allow constitutional carry?

No.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Pennsylvania?

Yes, 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.

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Pennsylvania requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Shall Issue.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Pennsylvania to get a concealed carry permit?

21

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you conceal carry weapons other than handguns in Pennsylvania with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Pennsylvania issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Pennsylvania allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Pennsylvania?

Yes, with a LCF or permit from a state with which PA has reciprocity. There are a number of instances identified in § 6106(b) where unloaded firearms with ammunition carried in a separate container may be transported by individuals without a permit. [18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6106]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Pennsylvania?

Yes.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Pennsylvania?

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Pennsylvania?

Yes, unless posted.

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Pennsylvania have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

 Not addressed in Pennsylvania state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania?

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Pennsylvania have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. However, although Pennsylvania State Law preempts local ordinances, the City of Pittsburgh passed a large-capacity magazine ban on April 9, 2019 which will go into effect on June 9, 2019, pending challenges. The ban the use in a public place, of any magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The definition of "use" includes:

  • Employing it to discharge or in attempt to discharge Ammunition by means of a Firearm;
  • Loading it with Ammunition;
  • Fitting or installing it into a Firearm;
  • Brandishing it with a Firearm;
  • Displaying it with a Firearm while loaded; and
  • Employing it for any purpose prohibited by the laws of Pennsylvania or of the United States.

§ 1104.10 inlcudes the following statements.

5. The City Council recognizes that 18 Pa. C.S. § 6120(a) and 53 Pa. C.S. § 2962(g) restrict municipal regulation of ownership, possession, transfer, and transportation of Firearms, and, as to 18 Pa. C.S. § 6120, Ammunition, and Ammunition components, and that Pennsylvania courts, including the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, have concluded that municipalities have no authority to wholly prohibit ownership, possession, transportation and transfer of Assault Weapons under existing Pennsylvania law; and

6. The City Council also recognizes its responsibility to respect governing law, and thus may not impose a prohibition on ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of Assault Weapons unless and until governing law allows it to become effective; and

7. A Second Class City has the power under 53 P.S. § 23131, and City Council has the authority under the City of Pittsburgh’s Home Rule Charter, “to regulate, prevent and punish the discharge of Firearms, rockets, powder, fireworks, or any other dangerous, combustible material, in the streets, lots, grounds, alleys, or in the vicinity of any buildings; to prevent and punish the carrying of concealed deadly weapons”; and

8. The City Council has authority under 53 P.S. § 3703 to “regulate or to prohibit and prevent the sale and use of fireworks, firecrackers, sparklers, and other pyrotechnics in such cities, and the unnecessary firing and discharge of Firearms in or into the highways and other public places thereof, and to pass all necessary ordinances regulating or forbidding the same and prescribing penalties for their violation”.

[City of Pittsburgh Ordinance § 1104]
Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Pennsylvania have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Pennsylvania? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No.

Preemption?

Does Pennsylvania have [preemption laws](https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/terminology/firearms-and-ammunition/preemption) related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except local municipalities may regulate the discharge of firearms within the cities boundaries.  [18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6120]

Red Flag Law?

Does Pennsylvania have a red flag law?

No. However, the City of Pittsburgh passed an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law on April 9, 2019 which will go into effect on October 9, 2019.  It allows Law Enforcement or a family or household member to petition the Court to issue an ERPO. A hearing will be scheduled within 10 days and, if the Court issues the ERPO, all firearms and firearms licences will be ordered to be relinquished within 24 hours. Fireams and licenses must be relinquished into the custody of Law Enforcement or a firearms dealer for a period of 3 months to one year.


STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
Article 1, Section 21

Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Pennsylvania honor?

Alabama (at least 21 years old)
Arizona (resident permits only)
Arkansas (resident permits only)
Colorado (resident permits only)
Florida (resident permits only and handguns only)
Idaho (enhanced resident permits only )
Indiana (resident permits only and least 21 years old)
Iowa (resident permits only)
Kansas (resident permits only)
Kentucky (resident permits only)
Louisiana (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Mississippi (resident permits only)
Missouri (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Montana (at least 21 years old)
New Hampshire (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
North Carolina (resident permits only)
North Dakota (Class 1 resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Ohio (resident permits only)
Oklahoma (resident permits only)
South Dakota (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Tennessee (resident permits only)
Texas (resident permits only)
Utah (regular [not provisional] resident permits only)
West Virginia (regular [not provisional] resident permits only)
Wisconsin (resident permits only)

Pennsylvania recognizes concealed carry licenses issued by states for which they have reciprocity agreements without applying for a separate Pennsylvania concealed carry license – if the concealed carry license holder is a resident of that state and 21 years of age or older.


Other States' Reciprocity With Pennsylvania

Which states honor permits from Pennsylvania?

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.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Pennsylvania

Which states honor permits from Pennsylvania with restrictions?

Colorado (resident permits only)
Florida (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Be a resident of the county the application is filed it for at least 90 days, or if from another state, possess a permit/license from that state;
  • Not have a character and reputation indicating the applicant would be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety;
  • Not have been convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent in the past 10 years for, any offense under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act;
  • Qualify to possess a firearm under Pennsylvania law and must not have been convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent in the past 10 years for, any of the crimes which disqualify individuals from firearm possession under Pennsylvania law;
  • Be of sound mind and never have been committed to a mental institution;
  • Not be addicted to or an unlawful user of marijuana or a stimulant, depressant or narcotic drug;
  • Not be a habitual drunkard;
  • Not have been charged with, or convicted of, a crime punishable by more than 1 year of imprisonment;
  • Not be an undocumented alien;
  • Not have been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice;
  • Not be otherwise prohibited from possessing, using, manufacturing, controlling, purchasing, selling or transferring a firearm as provided by Pennsylvania law; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit and Renewals  $20

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

45 days

Application:

Link to application

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Non-residents who possess a current license or permit or similar document to carry a firearm issued by their home state (if a license is provided for by the laws of that state) may apply for a non-resident permit. The process is similar to that for residents.

Name/Address Changes:

If you change your address or your name is legally changed, you need to go to your county Sheriff’s Office for the update. You will need an updated PA driver’s license or ID with the new address or name and $5.00. Your card will be issued for the balance of your time. If your expiration is within 60 days, you can renew with an application. 

Lost/Stolen Permits:

Go to your county sheriff’s office to have your Pennsylvania LCF replaced. You will need a valid driver’s license or state ID and $5.00. It will be issued for the balance of your time after a PICS check is completed. If your expiration is within 60 days, you can renew with an application. 


Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Download and complete the application or go to your county sheriff’s office to obtain an application. The application requires you to provide two references that are not family members.

Step 2:

Take the completed application to your county sheriff’s office or the chief of police. You will need a driver’s license or state ID or, if a resident of another state, your license or permit from that state.

Pay the fee. 

Your photo will be taken. 

Step 3:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

Law enforcement must issue a license “if, after an investigation not to exceed 45 days, it appears that the applicant is an individual concerning whom no good cause exists to deny the license.” The applicant must state a reason for seeking the license, which may include self-defense, employment, hunting, target shooting, gun collecting, or “another proper reason.”


Firearms Training Requirements in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law does not require applicants for a LCF to undergo firearms safety training or otherwise demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety. However, the USCCA recommends that anyone who makes the choice to carry a concealed firearm obtain as much training as possible in order to be a responsibly armed American.

Find A USCCA class near you


Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Renewals can be accepted up to 60 days in advance of your permit expiring. 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.
Step 2:

You may need to schedule an appointment with the sheriffs office to renew your handgun license, the procedure will vary between counties. Download the application or go to your county sheriff’s office to obtain an application. The application requires you to provide two references that are not family members.

Step 3:

You will be required to take the following;

  • A completed application;
  • Your expired handgun license;
  • Foreign-born applicants who are U.S. Citizens must supply Passport or Naturalization Paperwork;
  • Foreign-born applicants who are not U.S. Citizens must provide proof of immigration status and 90 days proof of residency (i.e. 3 months of utility bills); and
  • A Oregon drivers license with your current address on it.

Pay the fee.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Title 37 Pa. Code CH. 221 establishes requirements for RLEOs to carry concealed weapons under LEOSA and authorizes the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission to oversee training and certification of instructors for the retired law enforcement identification program. Qualified RLEOs must contact the law enforcement agency from which they separated/retired to obtain an identification card and must qualify with a Retired Law Enforcement Identification Act (RLEIA) firearms instructor annually on the type(s) of weapons (semi-automatic and/or revolver) they carry concealed. Once a qualification card has been issued, the retired officer must take the card to the County Sheriff’s Office so a background check can be completed and a confirmation number issued. A qualification card is not valid without a confirmation number. 

Retired Officer Concealed Carry Acknowledgement Form
RLEIA Firearms Instructors


Pennsylvania Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Pennsylvania?

  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no State statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Pennsylvania?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • Elementary and secondary education schools;
  • “Safety zones,” defined as an area within 150 yards of any attached or detached playground of any school, nursery school or day care center;
  • School buses;
  • Philadelphia city parks (although contrary to the preemption law);
  • Courthouses (off-limit areas must be posted);
  • Federal facilities;
  • Detention facilities and correctional institutions;
  • Mental hospitals;
  • Secured areas of airports;
  • The public areas of One Penn Center, 2601 North Third Street, Harrisburg, under the jurisdiction of the Department of State including 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; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

FAQ: Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Questions

Do firearms need to be registered in Pennsylvania?

No.

Is a permit required to purchase a gun in Pennsylvania?

No.

Are background checks required for private handgun sales in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Private-party transfers of handguns must be conducted through a licensed dealer or at a county sheriff’s office, and a background check is required. These requirements do not apply to transfers between spouses, parents and children, or grandparents and grandchildren. 

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a firearm in Pennsylvania?

No.

What are the knife laws in Pennsylvania?

It is legal to open or conceal carry any type of knife in Pennsylvania other than those which fall into the category of “prohibited offensive weapon,” which are illegal to possess. These include daggers that open automatically, any automatic knives and any implement for the infliction of bodily injury, which serves no “common lawful purpose.”

What are the laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication in PA?

Not addressed in state statutes.
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 judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.


Related Information & Links for Pennsylvania Gun Laws


Pennsylvania Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
05/02/2019

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

04/19/2019

Links checked

04/10/2019

Added city of Pittsburgh ERPO law to At A Glance table

04/02/2019

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

03/20/2019

Clarified info about private handguns sales in the Genl and FAQ sections

02/20/2019

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

02/15/2019

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

02/09/2019

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

02/06/2019

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

01/25/2019

Added church info to location restrictions section

01/24/2019

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

01/10/2019

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

01/07/2019

Added reciprocity details for UT and WV

12/13/2018

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

11/30/2018

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

10/22/2018

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Pennsylvania


Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

f you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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