Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
HB 1243 (Preemption Law Changes) Passes House NOW on to Senate - HELP needed

On Oct 6th HB 1243, just passed its third consideration in the House by a vote of 143-54. There are only a few days left to get this through the Senate and we're going to need YOUR help! CLICK HERE


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2007, 01:48 AM
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Default How old to purchase a handgun?

I'm an out-of-stater going to school in Philly and I was wondering how old you have to be to purchase a handgun in PA. I tried doing some searching but couldn't really find any clear laws listed online. I'm about to turn 20 and I live in a pretty sketchy area of the city. I've thought about it and I think I would feel much safer with a firearm. My main two questions are; (1) do you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun in PA, even if through a private party and (2) will there be any consequences stemming from the fact that I'm an out-of-state resident? Would I have to apply for PA residency?

Thanks.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

Yes, you must be 21 to purchase a handgun in PA. You cannot purchase a handgun through a private party because handguns require a PICS check.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

You can buy it from a private party, and have an FFL transfer it to you. The FFL just can't sell it to you himself. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(x)(1), (5).

Running PICS isn't a problem. You can run it for someone over 18, but under 21 -- it can still come back "clean" just that the party is under 21.

You're going to have trouble finding an FFL who actually understands the law enough to do it, though. Most of them get a deer in the headlights look when you suggest it. I've even handed over a copy of the relevant statute and had some refuse to do it. Your best bet is to find an FFL who doesn't work out of a big gun shop. Generally those guys have a better understanding of the law because they, personally, hold the FFL, not the shop.

The easiest way, quite frankly, is have one of your parents give you a handgun. That's perfectly legal -- it's how I got my first handgun. My mom bought one and gave it to me as a gift on my 18th birthday. No FFL transfer or anything is necessary -- they just hand it over and it's yours.
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Last edited by Rule10b5; January 29th, 2007 at 12:16 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

Thanks for the info guys. The parent thing isn't really an option since they live very far off. Maybe I'll try the private party thing and see what happens.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

Even if you find a way to get the pistol, you still cannot carry it "in a shady part of town" until you are 21 anyway.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

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Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
Even if you find a way to get the pistol, you still cannot carry it "in a shady part of town" until you are 21 anyway.
I'm not looking to carry it, concealed or otherwise. I don't stalk the streets at 3 AM or anything, just looking for something for home protection.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

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Originally Posted by twlurker24 View Post
will there be any consequences stemming from the fact that I'm an out-of-state resident? Would I have to apply for PA residency?

Thanks.
Unless you are from out of the country, you can live any where in the US as a US citizen, your residency is where you have been living continuously for the past 90 days.

You don’t need to “file” for residency, just have proof of residency, IE: drivers permit, state id, rent information showing you have been living in that state 90 days or more. One could hardly state they live in say Los Angeles when they are going to school for the past 4 months in Philly, it would be quite a commute. Although your primary residence may be your parent’s home in Los Angeles, you are entitled to claim being a Pennsylvania resident after 90 days.

If you work in the state of Pennsylvania, you most likely have a Pennsylvania address as well that you give your employer; this again is proof of residency.

In my case, being a legal permanent resident, I have to go through the proper channels if I want to move out of Pennsylvania or even within, meaning if I intend to move to Florida for a period of more then 90 days, I have to go to the INS or what is now called the USCIS and say I want to move to a new area.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

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[color=black]I have to go through the proper channels if I want to move out of Pennsylvania or even within, meaning if I intend to move to Florida for a period of more then 90 days, I have to go to the INS or what is now called the USCIS and say I want to move to a new area.
Yeah, well, if you'd stop referring to your "tuque" nobody'd know the difference
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule10b5 View Post
Yeah, well, if you'd stop referring to your "tuque" nobody'd know the difference
Hey I happen to love my Tuque, and I love the PomPom on it too!!! When is Pennsylvania ever going to get any snow?
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: How old to purchase a handgun?

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Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
Hey I happen to love my Tuque, and I love the PomPom on it too!!! When is Pennsylvania ever going to get any snow?
Me, too, but I skip the Pom.

I think this season may be a complete lost cause for snow. We got 3" last night, but it was local only -- there was just a dusting 2 miles down the road. Kind of a bummer. We've a new baby at home, and I was hoping we'd get a couple winter wonderland type pictures with him this year. Not even enough snow to make him a decent snowman without hitting grass.
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