Pennsylvania has a shall-issue policy for concealed firearm permits, done at the county level by the local sheriff’s office.
For first-class residents of the state, the head of police in a city of residence will oversee the application process.
Pennsylvania CCW permit application is open to both residents and non-residents of the state.
Also, there is no purchase permit requirement for buying and selling firearms in the state. But a background check, also done by the sheriff’s office, is compulsory.
Before you conceal carry in Pennsylvania, you must be aware of all the gun laws in the state and their applications.
Pennsylvania issues a license to carry for those who intend to conceal carry in the state.
Non-residents may also conceal carry with a permit from any of the states that Pennsylvania reciprocates.
You must be at least twenty-one years old before Pennsylvania concealed carry permit applications.
For non-residents going through the application process, you must provide a permit from your state of residence.
In terms of reciprocity, Pennsylvania will accept a permit from any state that it has a deal with.
Other aspects of Pennsylvania CCW permit reciprocity includes the following:
Make sure that you are familiar with gun laws and how to handle firearms correctly in the state that you want to conceal carry because you must always operate your firearm according to state laws.
Other things you must know about concealed carry in various states include location restriction, how to deal with firearms correctly, etc.
Even if you have a Pennsylvania CCW permit, some areas are out of bound for you to possess your firearms.
Being with your guns in these places can lead to serious charges from the law enforcement agencies.
So to prevent this, you need to be aware of places where you can and cannot conceal carry in the state.
In Pennsylvania, unlike some other states in the country, you can conceal carry in the following places or situations:
Bars and restaurants: You can conceal carry in bars and restaurants that do not have a post prohibiting the possession of firearms.
Personal vehicle: You can conceal carry in your car, but make sure that you have your CCW permit with you.
Law enforcement officers can conceal carry without location restrictions. Also, they are not affected by states, municipalities, and county laws.
But for a law enforcement officer to be able to conceal carry in Pennsylvania, he or she must meet all LEOSA qualifications.
The Law Enforcement Safety Act covers both active and retired officers of the United States, and this applies in all jurisdictions of the country.
In Pennsylvania, the police officers’ education and training commission are in charge of qualifying law enforcement officers according to the standards laid down by LEOSA.
Retired officers must first apply for the training in the local law enforcement agency from where they retired. A state-certified instructor must be in charge of such training.
The law enforcement agency will issue the retired officer with a qualification card, and the officer must deliver the card to a local sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office will conduct the background check, and add a confirmation order to the issued card.
Note that an issued card without a confirmation order is useless.
Only retired officers that complete this process will be allowed to conceal carry according to LEOSA.
Another thing you must pay attention to is dealing with firearms. This covers the sale, purchase, possession, transporting and transferring firearms in Pennsylvania.
Some of the requirements you need to know are:
To buy a firearm in Pennsylvania, you do not need a purchase permit, neither can you use a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit.
Also, Pennsylvania does not have a roster for firearms, and there are no handgun registration procedures.
You must undergo a criminal record background check before buying firearms in the state.
Although this may not be readily accessible to private firearm dealers, they can still conduct the check through a licensed federal dealer.
The only situation where a background check is not needed is the transfer of firearms between members of a family such as parents, children, spouses, grandparents, and grandchildren.
Waiting Period For Buying Firearm In Pennsylvania
There is no required waiting period to complete the sales of a firearm in Pennsylvania.
As long as the criminal background record comes out clean, a dealer can complete the sale.
You must be at least eighteen years old before you can handle a firearm in the state.
You do not require a CCW permit to possess a gun in your home of residence or a building that you lease or rent.
Pennsylvania takes the castle doctrine law very seriously, and the state is referred to as a stand your ground state.
With this, you have a duty to defend yourself, your property, or an acquaintance in the face of an illegal activity that takes place in your home or any other place you have lawful rights to be.
The castle doctrine law justifies the use of deadly or excessive force for self-defense if the force is necessary to keep you alive and prevent bodily harm against an intruder. However, you must not be the invoker of such a situation.
Away from your home, you have a duty to retreat when attacked because the castle doctrine law does not apply in this case.
Pennsylvania has a list of requirements that you must meet before you apply for the license to carry.
These requirements are very important, and you must fulfill every one of them to their detail. Failure to do so means rejection of your CCW permit application.
The requirements include the following:
After meeting all Pennsylvania concealed carry permit requirements, you can then apply for the license.
The process for application includes the following:
You can either download the application or visit your county sheriff’s office to pick it up.
Note that you must provide two references before you can apply, and these references may not be your family members
You must submit the following documents to proceed with the application:
Take the documents to either your local sheriff office or the police state department for resident and non-residents permit, respectively.
A background check will be done, and if it comes out quickly, you will most likely leave the county office with your CCW permit.
If not, the person in charge will direct you to go home, and you will receive an approval mail after within a stipulated period.
Note that you must provide a good cause for concealed carry before applying for CCW permit. The law enforcement agency will review your application and determine to accept or reject it.
If an applicant does not have a good cause to conceal carry the law enforcement has the discretion to reject such application.
Your reason to conceal carry can range from self-defense to employment, range shooting, hunting, or any other valid cause.
Unlike in most states, you are not obliged to complete a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit course before you apply for the license to carry firearms.
But there is a recommendation for training by the United States Concealed Carry Application for everyone who chooses to handle concealed firearms.
Therefore, you might want to enroll for a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit online course.
Here are some frequently asked questions about CCW in Pennsylvania.
The permits last for five years, after which you have to apply for renewal.
Both initial and renewal applications cost twenty dollars.
The processing period for CCW permits in Pennsylvania is forty-five days.
You can apply for a renewal application sixty days before your CCW permit expires.
Note that you have the grace to renew up until sixty days after the permit expires.