What is a firearm?
According to Pennsylvania state law, a firearm is:
- A pistol or revolver with a barrel length less than 15 inches
- A shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches
- A rifle with a barrel length of fewer than 16 inches
- A pistol, revolver, shotgun, or rifle with an overall length of fewer than 26 inches
Do I need a license/permit to carry a firearm?
Pennsylvania gun laws are considered to be on a “Shall Issue” policy. This means that an individual is not required to have a permit if they are carrying a firearm in their home or place of business. However, it is necessary for an individual to have a CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon) permit if they wish to carry a gun outside of their home or place of business. For more information Click Here.
Can I get a CCW?
A person is eligible for carrying a concealed weapon if he/she:
- Is over the age of twenty-one
- Has no criminal convictions
- Is of good character and reputation
- Has been a resident of the county in which he/she is applying for the license for at least 90 days
How do I get a CCW?
- An individual must fill out an application with the sheriff of the county he/she resides
- Take the application and a valid state ID to the sheriff of the county in which the person resides
- Pay the application fee
The sheriff then has 45 days to determine if the individual is fit to carry a firearm. This is done through the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS). The sheriff is allowed to deny the application if he/she determines that the individual applying for the weapon would be a danger to the safety of others. For more information Click Here.
Can I apply for a sportsman’s permit?
A person is able to apply for a sportsman’s permit if he/she is:
- 18 years or older
- Has a license to fish, hunt, trap, or a permit related to hunting dogs
A sportsman’s permit is not the same as a CCW. This permit only allows the individual to carry a weapon when they are in the act of hunting, fishing, or trapping or they are on their way to do these activities.
How do I apply for a sportsman’s permit?
- Fill out the Sportsman’s Firearm Application and pay the fee to the county treasurer’s office
What are the penalties for carrying a firearm without a license in places outside of the home and place of business?
A person who is eligible for a license but carries a weapon outside of their home or workplace without a valid license commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. There are some exceptions to this rule including police officers, sheriffs, wardens, and members or the navy, army, marine corps, coast guard, air force, or the National Guard (when they are on duty). There are more exceptions to this law Click Here for all of the exceptions.
What else should I know?
If you have questions about firearms in the counties surrounding Chester County, please contact our reliable law team. The experienced attorney’s at The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo are ready to help you understand the law.