In Pennsylvania, adults can purchase and openly carry a rifle, shotgun, or handgun without a permit; but you must usually obtain a license to carry a concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body. For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Pennsylvania.
How to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License in Pennsylvania
To obtain a concealed handgun license, you must apply at the local sheriff’s office in the county where you live. To qualify, you must:
- be at least 21 years old
- be a Pennsylvania resident, or a resident of another state who possesses a current concealed carry license in that state
- be of good character
- submit an administrative fee
- submit a completed application (to be obtained from your sheriff’s office)
In Pennsylvania, a concealed carry license is not a license to actually purchase a handgun. To buy a weapon, you must also undergo a background check conducted by the weapons dealer that you buy your gun from.
(18 Penn. Rev. Stat. and Con. Stats. § 6109.)
Does Pennsylvania Recognize Concealed Carry Gun Permits From Other States?
Pennsylvania recognizes concealed carry permits or licenses issued by other states, as long as there is a reciprocity agreement in place with that state. That is, as long as Pennsylvania has entered into an agreement wherein another state will recognize Pennsylvania’s concealed carry licenses within that state’s borders, Pennsylvania will recognize that other state’s licenses within Pennsylvania. (18 Penn. Rev. Stat. and Con. Stats. § 6109(k).)
Check with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office to locate reciprocity information for a particular state.
Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit
It is a felony in the third degree to carry a concealed weapon in Pennsylvania without a license. Penalties include a fine of up to $15,000, up to seven years in prison, or both. (18 Penn. Rev. Stat. and Con. Stats. § 1101.)
Getting Legal Help
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Pennsylvania, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.