Recent events dealing with gun violence in Pittsburgh, PA, Binghamton, N.Y., and Graham, Washington, has sparked a renewed debate over gun laws across the country. Nationally, gun sales are reported to be on the rise. Accordingly, from November 2008 through March 2009, FBI background checks, which are required every time a federally licensed gun dealer makes a sale, rose 29.3% over the same period a year earlier.
Thus, anyone interested in owning a firearm in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should be aware of the laws. It should also be noted that there is a difference in Pennsylvania between owning a firearm and carrying a firearm.
Specifically, the minimum age to own a firearm is 18. However, there are recognized exceptions to this rule for minor’s who wish to own a firearm. Additionally, there is no firearm registry in the Commonwealth. Thus, if you legally posses and bring your firearms into Pennsylvania no further action is required. However, all transfers of handguns in Pennsylvania are required to go through the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) and as such the Pennsylvania State Police keep a Sales Database of all handguns purchased within the Commonwealth.
If you wish to carry your legally owned firearm outside your home or business, you must obtain a License To Carry Firearms from the state. Anyone who is found carrying a firearm outside their home or business without the license is committing a felony.
THE FOREGOING IS INTEDED TO BE A GENERAL DISCUSSION OF THE LAW AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC QUESTION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE AND SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY.& ;