Pennsylvania Gun Laws C+


Among other things, Pennsylvania:

Requires a background check prior to the unlicensed sale of a handgun;

Conducts its own background checks when licensed dealers sell firearms;

Requires firearm dealers to obtain a state license;

Prohibits straw purchases, a common source of illegally trafficked firearms, and has a “Straw Purchaser Education Program”;

Maintains a state database of information regarding the sale handguns and certain other types of firearms;

Requires licensed dealers to include locking devices when transferring handguns or short-barreled rifles or shotguns.

However, Pennsylvania does not:

Require a background check when an unlicensed person sells a rifle or shotgun;

Require gun owners to report if their guns are lost or stolen;

Have laws to prevent children or other unauthorized people from having easy access to unlocked firearms;

Allow local governments to regulate firearms or ammunition;

Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;

Require firearm owners to obtain a license;

Require the registration of firearms;

Regulate ammunition sales; or

Provide local law enforcement with discretion to deny a license to carry firearms.

In 2017, Pennsylvania had the 25th lowest gun death rate among the states. Pennsylvania supplied crime guns to other states at a similar rate to the national average.

Pennsylvania also exported more crime guns than it imported.