Pennsylvania State law requires all unlicensed firearms dealers to conduct a gun background check on the purchaser of a handgun (long guns are exempt). The seller will need to contact the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to obtain a record of the purchaser’s criminal history, mental issues, and other details which determine whether or not the person is suitable to purchase a firearm. If PSP approves the sale, and if the purchaser does not have a “temporary delay” status indicating further investigation on the individual, the dealer may legally deliver the firearm to the individual.
Bill of Sale – Shows proof of the sale between the purchaser and dealer as well as the sale price.
Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms – For individuals wishing to carry a concealed weapon.
For Sale of a Handgun
Step 1 – A firearms dealer can check the background of an individual by contacting the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) at 1 (717) 705-8843. Their hours of operation are 8:00 am – 10:00 pm, seven days a week.
Step 2 – The dealer will be notified immediately by PICS as to whether or not the individual is fit to purchase a firearm. If the individual is denied, he/she may submit the Pennsylvania Insta Check Challenge Form (SP4-197) within thirty (30) days of the date the individual receives notice of denial. Otherwise, the dealer may legally deliver the firearm to the purchaser.
Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) License
Step 1 – In order for someone to legally carry a concealed weapon in Pennsylvania, the person must maintain ONE of the following:
- Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (instructions below)
- Reside in a state which has a current reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania
- Fall within exceptions listed in 18 Pa. C.S. §6106(2)(b) and §6106(2)(b)(15)
Step 2 – Download and complete the Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms.
Step 3 – The complete form must be delivered to the sheriff of the county in which the individual resides (County Locations). Along with the application, the individual must have proper photo identification and a filing fee of $20.