Weapons crimes are taken very seriously in Pennsylvania. However, as noted by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania maintains laws governing the right of an individual to lawfully carry a concealed firearm on his body or in a vehicle. A weapons charge for violation of the relevant law can result in a conviction of a felony of the third degree. A primary way to comply with this weapons law is to secure a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms, often referred to as a concealed carry permit.
Generally, applications are obtained from and the licenses are issued by the Sheriff in the county where the applicant resides. There are many exceptions to the requirement to secure this particular license, including reference to individuals within certain law enforcement occupations and on-duty active military members. Members of other occupations may also enjoy circumstantial exception, as do licensed hunters.
In addition, as noted by Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Commonwealth also enjoys formal Firearms Reciprocity Agreements with several other states. There are currently 18 states that have such formal agreements. License or permit holders of such states may legally conceal-carry in Pennsylvania, while Pennsylvania license holders may do the same in those reciprocal states. In addition, there are other states allowed reciprocity by statute. When traveling out of state, it is important to be aware of what the various states’ laws are when it comes to carrying a concealed firearm or having one in a vehicle on the roadways, and whether there is reciprocity with Pennsylvania. As such, and in light of the possibility of changing laws, the Attorney General advises Pennsylvanians traveling out of state to confer with each such state to confirm the current status of its carry laws.