The Current Gun Policy in Pennsylvania of Needing a License to Carry, but a License Not Being Required to Purchase a Gun or Rifle
There is no permit required to purchase firearms and although there is no comprehensive firearms registration, the state police maintain a database of all handgun buyers. Private-party transfers of handguns must be conducted through a licensed dealer or at a county sheriff’s office, and a background check is required. These requirements do not apply to transfers between spouses, parents and children, or grandparents and grandchildren. Open carry is legal in Pennsylvania for anyone 18 or older who is legally allowed to possess a firearm. You will need a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (LCF) or a permit/license from a state with which PA has reciprocity in order to open or conceal carry in a vehicle and to open carry in the city of Philadelphia. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses. Concealed carry is legal for residents with an LCF and for non-residents with a license/permit that Pennsylvania honors. Pennsylvania LCFs are issued to residents and non-residents that are at least 21 years old. Non-residents must already have a permit to carry in their home state in order to obtain a Pennsylvania permit. There is no training requirement. In terms of reciprocity, Pennsylvania only honors resident CCW licenses from states with which it has a reciprocity agreement. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (LCF) holders whose LCF expired on March 19, 2020 or later will be considered to have a valid license until September 30, 2020.
For instance, in Pennsylvania, the Governor’s Office of General Counsel and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education issued nonbinding guidance suggesting that an outright ban of firearms on campus would violate the state constitution, causing some colleges to change their policies to allow concealed carry in some campus locations (Utah Code Ann). In Arizona, Kentucky, and Minnesota, state laws appear to prevent colleges and universities from restricting firearms inside private vehicles, even though guns may be prohibited elsewhere on campus.
Long guns, meanwhile, cannot be carried loaded in a vehicle whether you have a concealed carry license or not. Pennsylvania does not specifically prohibit firearms in bars or other places where alcoholic beverages are served or sold.
Utah Code Ann. §§ 53B-3-103(1), (2)(a)(ii), (2)(b), 76-8-311.1; Utah Admin. Code r. 765-254-3.
Digiacinto v. Rector & Visitors of George Mason Univ., 704 S.E.2d 365 (Va. 2011)