Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Open carry in PA

    I saw this thread on the AR 15 hometown forums. I have been following it. Does anyone open carry here in PA? I would like to know if you had bad or positive experiences. I have never seen an open carry situation except LEO. Thanks here is the ARFCOM link

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=8&f=14&t=228695

  2. #2
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    The official page on Open Carry of firearms in Pennsylvania

    After studying the law and talking to a few Philly cops here's my understanding:

    Conceal Carry requires a permit anywhere in the state. (Title 18 Chapter 61 Subchapter A 6106)

    State law is silent on the Open carry of firearms (making it de facto legal) except for Philadelphia which requires a permit for Concealed or Open carry. (Title 18 Chapter 61 Subchapter A 6108)

    The Philadelphia cops I've talked to are all of the opinion that while perfectly legal for you to open carry in Philadelphia with a carry permit, it would last until they got their first phone call. At which point you would most likely be questioned and possibly charged with anything they can dream up. They would also most likely take your carry permit and send it back to Harrisburg for revokation. One of the guys I talked to said they know on appeal Harrisburg will give you your permit back as you did not violate any laws but they do not care, they just want to make your life difficult.

    So basically:
    1. Conceal carry requires a permit everywhere in the state.
    2. Open carry does not require a permit except for in Philadelphia however open carrying in Philadelphia will most likely result in your harassment and/or arrest and likely seizure of your Carry Permit.
    Last edited by danp; December 15th, 2008 at 06:21 PM.
    Daniel Pehrson, Founder & President, Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  3. #3
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    I posted this two months ago on multiple forums, but I will re-post it here.

    ---------------------

    Here's the scoop...

    I'm in PA, out with my girlfriend at a local mall. I'm open carrying (I do often and have at this exact mall before). We're shopping around, doing our usual thing, and we hit a store where she wanted to try clothes on. She starts to try clothes on in a fitting room, and after about five minutes and two outfits, I notice out of the corner of my eye a LEO standing in front of the store, pacing and on his radio. Thirty seconds later, I see him walk in, and I already knew why he was there. I turned towards him and said light-heartedly "i know why you're here".

    He asked me if I had a firearm on me, disarmed me, and asked for my license. I obliged, then asked why it was needed since PA is an open carry state. He said he just needed to verify it, etc, and not to worry as I'm not in any trouble. A few minutes later, a second LEO arrives, handles my Glock, then empties out the clip that was laying out in the open on a display shelf. I was then asked by the second LEO:

    "why are you carrying a gun"? to which I replied "for self-defense, as on my LTC". I was then told by the second LEO that only police and federal officers should carry a gun, and there is no reason why I should. They then asked me the first question again but added "why... in a mall?" I replied because of the mall shootings last year, and the recent Denny's shooting.

    I started chatting it up with the first LEO about me taking the act 120 and my interest in LE. I was then told "if I have an illegal weapons charge" against me, I wouldn't be eligible to get into LE. I asked "what illegal weapon", and was told about me possessing in the mall. I asked what was wrong, and they told me I cannot carry in the mall, that it's against policy. I questioned where it was posted and was told it's not, and my responsibility to call and ask if I can carry in the establishment. I've never heard of this before and obliged to them.

    After them checking my firearms registration and license for any warrants, they walked me through the mall to my car, and sent me on my way.

    The encounter was so-so. I was uneasy by the questioning from the second LEO, and my girlfriend was pissed because of the situation.

    I did learn some things about Act 120 before I take the course though...

    So, any comments regarding my situation tonight? I know some may not like open carry, but it is legal in my state and I am happy to exercise my rights.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romeo
    I asked what was wrong, and they told me I cannot carry in the mall, that it's against policy.
    They key word there is that it's against POLICY, now law. The most the mall can do is ask you to leave, only if you refuse to (which you obviously did not) can you be charged with trespassing.

    You have broken no laws and if anyone tries to make it seem like you did they are very mistaken as far as my understanding goes.
    Daniel Pehrson, Founder & President, Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  5. #5
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    I know in VA open carry is done often. I have never seen it done in PA. I would not want to open carry in philadelphia. If I did it it would not be in city limits. I have to say i did not post this to see if it is legal. I know it is. i just wanted to know if anyone had first hand experience. I am not a big fan of open carry. I keep the mind set of low key. I lived in NY for most of my life and even when legal you had to look over your shoulder. So low key is my moto. I also like the element of surprise. Like I said in other posts on this forum. I pocket carry. i am very comfortable with it. When I walk around I often have my hands in my pocket. So in essense I have a quick draw if needed. I would like to see it done more(open carry) buit I dont think I feel comfortable with it for me personally.

  6. #6
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    now please dont bring me to court if something happens but this is what i heard.......open carry isnt illegal but its not promoted....its gets trickey when you talk about open carry in your car...because there is none, if you have a gun in the car its considered conceiled carry....so which means if you going for a walk i guess its ok, if you go to get into your car you must lock up your gun and ammo separate......and i also beleave if you have a ccw licence you cant open carry because it defeats the purpose of the ccw licence....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy870m9
    and i also beleave if you have a ccw licence you cant open carry because it defeats the purpose of the ccw licence....
    that is not correct. having a LTCF does not have any ramifications on your ability to legally open carry in PA.

    you are correct about carrying in a car without an LTCF, though.

  8. #8
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    if you have a ccw licence, what would be the reason to open carry....would it be to show off, to let people know you have a gun?....the reason you get a licence is so that people DONT know you have a handgun on you...i dont know what part of pa your at, but around reading you only see cops and sec guards carry open, its more of a hassle to open carry and much more dangerous...you just telling the bg where to get a new weapon, on your belt....i think its ignorant to open carry when you have a licence to carry

  9. #9
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    I am originally from NY so open carry or CCW is all a no no. being I live in this great commonwealth I count my blessings everyday. I would rather live on mars then go back to NY and live. it is bad enough to go there to visit relatives.

    My point to my rant about NY. I can understand the negative feelings about open carry but I can also see a valid point to open carry. If more people did it the negative feeling would go away. Me I only CCW. only because CCW was the only method I though of or knew of. I also knew I wasnt able to do it in NY. I never gave open carry a thought. I didnt even know it existed in places. I can go both ways on this issue but for me I only CCW.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy870m9
    if you have a ccw licence, what would be the reason to open carry....would it be to show off, to let people know you have a gun?....the reason you get a licence is so that people DONT know you have a handgun on you...i dont know what part of pa your at, but around reading you only see cops and sec guards carry open, its more of a hassle to open carry and much more dangerous...you just telling the bg where to get a new weapon, on your belt....i think its ignorant to open carry when you have a licence to carry
    i wasn't saying you *should* open carry if you have a LTCF, but you *can* --i.e., it is not illegal. (your original post said you "can't" not that you "shouldn't".)

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