Pennsylvania State Seal

Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my Pennsylvania permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
1.3M
Permits Issued
29
STATES HONORED
32
RECIPROCATING STATES
12.8M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
38
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
10.16%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
5
YEARS PERMIT VALID
96
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

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Summary of Pennsylvania Gun Laws

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 that are at least 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.”

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Pennsylvania Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Pennsylvania allow constitutional carry?

No. Pennsylvania does not allow constitutional carry.

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?

Pennsylvania is a shall-issue state.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

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

The minimum age to concealed carry in Pennsylvania is 21 years old.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

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

No. Pennsylvania concealed carry does not include any weapons aside from handguns.

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. A person may possess and use an electric or electronic incapacitation device in the exercise of reasonable force in defense of the person or the person's property pursuant to Chapter 5 (relating to general principles of justification) if the electric or electronic incapacitation device is labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use and the damages involved in its use.

[18 Pa. Cons. Stat, § 908.1]

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Pennsylvania?

Yes. There is no statute prohibiting the purchase or use of pepper spray in Pennsylvania.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Pennsylvania issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes. The process is similar to that for residents.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

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

No. The Pennsylvania concealed carry registry is not accessible to the public.

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, with a LCF or permit from a state with which PA has reciprocity.

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?

Yes, with a LCF or permit from a state with which PA has reciprocity. 

[34 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 252558 PA Cons. Stat. § 135.41]

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

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

Yes, with a LCF or permit from a state with which PA has reciprocity, 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?

Yes, but only when specifically asked by law enforcement.

[18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6122]

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Pennsylvania have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. The Allegheny Court of Common Pleas decided against the City of Pittsburgh in Anderson v. City of Pittsburgh. The court found that Pittsburgh's attempt to impose local gun control measures was a clear violation of state preemption law.

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. Pennsylvania does not recognize "No Weapons" signs.

Preemption?

Does Pennsylvania have preemption laws 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. This has been reinforced by the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas decision against the City of Pittsburgh in Anderson v. City of Pittsburgh. The court found that Pittsburgh's attempt to impose local gun control measures was a clear violation of state preemption law.

[18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6120]

Brandishing?

Does Pennsylvania state law define brandishing?

No. However, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.

[18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5503]

Red Flag Law?

Does Pennsylvania have a red flag law?

No. This has been reinforced by the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas decision against the City of Pittsburgh in Anderson v. City of Pittsburgh. The court found that Pittsburgh's attempt to impose local gun control measures was a clear violation of state preemption law.

Carry while using alcohol or prescription medication?

Does Pennsylvania have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?

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.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Pennsylvania?

No. Pennsylvania does not require a special permit at time of handgun purchase.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun 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.

Waiting Period?

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

No. The state of Pennsylvania does not require a waiting time for handgun purchases.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in Pennsylvania?

No. Handgun registration is not required in Pennsylvania.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Pennsylvania?

18 years old is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Pennsylvania.

[18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6110.1]

Carry While Hunting

Carry While Gun Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Pennsylvania?

Yes, with a LCF or permit from a state with which PA has reciprocity.

[PA General Hunting Regulations]

Carry While Bow Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in Pennsylvania?

Yes.

Hunter Harassment Law?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Pennsylvania?

Yes. It is unlawful for another person at the location where the activity is taking place to intentionally obstruct or interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife. A person violates this section when he intentionally or knowingly:

  • Drives or disturbs wildlife for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife where another person is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife or other permitted activities;
  • Blocks, impedes or otherwise harasses another person who is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife or other permitted activities;
  • Uses natural or artificial visual, aural, olfactory or physical stimuli to affect wildlife behavior in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of wildlife or other permitted activities;
  • Creates or erects barriers with the intent to deny ingress or egress to areas where the lawful taking of wildlife or other permitted activities may occur;
  • Interjects himself into the line of fire;
  • Affects the condition or placement of personal or public property intended for use in the lawful taking of wildlife or other permitted activities in order to impair its usefulness or prevent its use;
  • Enters or remains upon public lands or upon private lands without permission of the owner or their agent, with intent to violate this section; or
  • Fails to obey the order of any officer whose duty it is to enforce any of the laws of this Commonwealth.

[34 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2302]

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State Constitutional Provision
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
ARTICLE 1, § 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

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.

Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (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)
South Dakota (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:
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 in Pennsylvania

Find a Shooting Range 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 two 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 driver's 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


FAQ: Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Questions

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.”


Related Information & Links for Pennsylvania Gun Laws


Pennsylvania Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2019-11-04

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-30

Updated info on the City of Pittsburgh extreme risk protection law in the At A Glance table

2019-10-30

Updated info on the City of Pittsburgh high-capacity magazine ban in the At A Glance table

2019-10-16

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray the At A Glance table

2019-09-09

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-26

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-05-21

Added info into At A Glance table regarding the stay on the City of Pittsburgh ordinances

2019-05-02

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-19

Links checked

2019-04-10

Added City of Pittsburgh ERPO law to At A Glance table

2019-04-02

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

2019-03-20

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

2019-02-20

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

2019-02-15

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

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-25

Added church carry info to location restrictions section

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication in At A Glance table

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

2018-12-13

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

2018-11-30

Added parking lot storage info to At A Glance table

2018-10-22

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.

If 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.

Should you have any questions regarding the legal process, membership or any of the great features and benefits a USCCA Membership provides, feel free to contact our award-winning Wisconsin-based Member Services team at any time.