Gun control is right up there with immigration and marijuana as one of the most highly controversial topics in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. You may be among those who staunchly defend the right to bear arms and perhaps have one or more firearms in your home. Whether you own guns for hunting purposes or enjoy target shooting as a hobby, or you are in the process of obtaining a concealed carry license, the more you know ahead of time about Pennsylvania gun laws, the better.
This state has some of the strictest firearms regulations in the country. Some of those laws can be confusing and it's best to seek understanding if you're unsure about a particular regulation rather than risk facing weapons charges in court.
Things to know before selling, buying or carrying a gun in Pennsylvania
You can actually open carry a gun in this state (except in Philadelphia) without any type of license, but not if you plan to carry it in a concealed fashion. Keeping the following gun law facts in mind may help you avoid trouble and may come in handy if a problem does arise:
- You need to apply for a License to Carry Firearms permit at the appropriate county office in your area.
- You may have heard that you cannot own a gun in Pennsylvania if you have a felony conviction on your criminal record; that's not necessarily true.
- To the contrary, there are certain misdemeanors that prevent you from lawfully owning a gun in this state.
- Undocumented immigrants may not buy guns in this state.
- If you have three or more DUI charges within five years, the law prohibits you from purchasing firearms.
- If someone has an existing protection from abuse order against you, you cannot buy guns in Pennsylvania.
- If the court convicts you of a crime, you may be able to restore your firearms possession rights after you have fulfilled your sentence.
Other laws, such as those governing firearms on or near school grounds are also important to know if you plan on carrying guns anywhere in this state. Other gun-related situations could land you in trouble with the law as well.
Therefore, if you plan to sell a gun to your neighbor or buy one at a gun show, it's crucial that you clearly understand the potential legal implications of your sale or purchase. If police accuse you of a gun crime, you may want to secure defense assistance to help minimize the possible consequences of your situation.