Heading to PA, Looking for CCW Info

Heading to PA, Looking for CCW Info

This is a discussion on Heading to PA, Looking for CCW Info within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My state has CCW reciprocity with PA, and I'll be going to PA next month. Can anyone point me towards the PA statutes associated with ...

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Thread: Heading to PA, Looking for CCW Info

  1. #1
    Member Array MasterGuns's Avatar
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    Heading to PA, Looking for CCW Info

    My state has CCW reciprocity with PA, and I'll be going to PA next month. Can anyone point me towards the PA statutes associated with weapons and carry? i.e., deadly force, carry restrictions, LE notification requirements, etc.

    I tried handgunlaw.us and followed the link to PA, but didn't find much that I could hang my hat on. I understand these statutes are tough to find, understand, and interpret, but was hoping some Pennsylvanians could provide some input and resources.

    If it helps frame the responses, here are my specifics:
    Will not be in any major cities.
    Will be going to/from shooting range.
    Will have ammo.
    Will have both carry gun and range gun.
    Will overnight in motel.

    Thanks!
    Pain is weakness leaving the body


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array rmarkob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGuns View Post
    My state has CCW reciprocity with PA, and I'll be going to PA next month. Can anyone point me towards the PA statutes associated with weapons and carry? i.e., deadly force, carry restrictions, LE notification requirements, etc.

    I tried handgunlaw.us and followed the link to PA, but didn't find much that I could hang my hat on. I understand these statutes are tough to find, understand, and interpret, but was hoping some Pennsylvanians could provide some input and resources.
    PA is similarly as CCW-friendly as Virginia, but without any restaurant/alcohol restrictions. No requirement to notify LE. Here's another source of PA info: http://www.pafoa.org/law/

    If it helps frame the responses, here are my specifics:
    Will not be in any major cities.
    Will be going to/from shooting range.
    Will have ammo.
    Will have both carry gun and range gun.
    Will overnight in motel.

    Thanks!
    You're good for all those specifics with your VA CCW, but beware of crossing through MD enroute. Federal Peaceable Journey rules apply: Lock your guns in the trunk, unloaded. Keep your ammo in a separate container. Once you cross the border and are back in a free state, carry away!
    Clinging to guns and God in PA...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array dgg9's Avatar
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    Start here:

    http://paopencarry.org/PennsylvaniaGunRights.pdf

    (don't worry about the "open carry" name -- it has CCW info too).

  4. #4
    Member Array American Pit Bull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGuns View Post
    I tried handgunlaw.us and followed the link to PA, but didn't find much that I could hang my hat on.
    What specific info were you interested in? I think that handgunlaw.us has about everything that you need. They list the "no-carry restrictions" and whether you have a duty to notify a LEO...

    Those were your specific questions that handgunlaw.us answered, do you have others?

    PA doesn't have a castle doctrine, but there is also no duty to retreat.

  5. #5
    Member Array MasterGuns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by American Pit Bull View Post
    What specific info were you interested in? I think that handgunlaw.us has about everything that you need. They list the "no-carry restrictions" and whether you have a duty to notify a LEO...

    Those were your specific questions that handgunlaw.us answered, do you have others?

    PA doesn't have a castle doctrine, but there is also no duty to retreat.
    I may have been looking in the wrong spots on the site, but couldn't find any specifics on notification, off-limits areas, and the like. Most of the info I found was on how to apply for a permit, who can apply, and a link to the PA statutes (which were tough to wade through, although I spent some time reading them).

    I'll visit the links provided by y'all and follow up if necessary.

    Thanks.
    Pain is weakness leaving the body

  6. #6
    Member Array American Pit Bull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGuns View Post
    I may have been looking in the wrong spots on the site, but couldn't find any specifics on notification, off-limits areas, and the like.
    The "US Off-Limits" links on the left bar take you to that information.

  7. #7
    Member Array JaredMcLaughlin's Avatar
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    As I understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGuns View Post
    I may have been looking in the wrong spots on the site, but couldn't find any specifics on notification, off-limits areas, and the like. Most of the info I found was on how to apply for a permit, who can apply, and a link to the PA statutes (which were tough to wade through, although I spent some time reading them).

    I'll visit the links provided by y'all and follow up if necessary.

    Thanks.
    Ok. Here's the law in a nutshell as I understand and follow it:
    1. Notification is voluntary. I've had mixed results with it. When I started carrying I was seeing it from my experience on the other side and notified always. I had some bad experiences with that. My current view is, they don't need to know. If it's going to be an adversarial relationship with the officer viewing me as the threat, I'll do the same. If the officer wants to treat the stop as me breaking the rules and submitting to his legal authority with a respectful demeanor then I respect that and inform him or her.

    2. Off limits areas are Federally protected areas such as post offices, and State protected areas such as a courthouse. Courthouses are required to have lockers for you to secure your arms, but many don't, and you're skating on thin ice there. Schools are presumably off limits, but there's an untested grey area there. I'd avoid it, being from out of state. State Parks are similarly a grey area.

    3. Keep in mind that it is illegal for cities and municipalities to pass their own laws regarding bearing arms in PA. All firearms legislation is state level, and hence uniform. The only exception comes in Phillly. Open carry is by default legal throughout the state without a license, but you must be licensed in Philly. This does not violate pre-emption as it is a state law that applies only to one city.

    4. Long guns must be unloaded and ammunition stored in a seperate compartment for travel if I understand correctly. I ran into the problem of assuming that a license to carry firearms covers all firearms. It doesn't. The legal definition of firearms under the statutes that cover licenses are different than the other statutes.

    Am I missing anything? It's a pretty easy state to carry in. If you don't go to federal areas, courthouses, or schools while armed; keep your firearm concealed when carrying and notify to be on the safe side you should have zero issues.

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    Member Array PAGLOCK23's Avatar
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    G19/G23/OD G26/G27
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array rmarkob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaredMcLaughlin View Post
    3. Keep in mind that it is illegal for cities and municipalities to pass their own laws regarding bearing arms in PA. All firearms legislation is state level, and hence uniform. The only exception comes in Philly. Open carry is by default legal throughout the state without a license, but you must be licensed in Philly. This does not violate pre-emption as it is a state law that applies only to one city.
    To be excrutiatingly accurate, it applies to any "city of the first class", which is defined as any city with a population of over 1 million. Philly is the only city in PA that meets that definition today, with 1.5M. Pittsburgh is a little over 300k, and declining, so it looks like Philly will stand alone in that category for a long time!
    Clinging to guns and God in PA...

  10. #10
    Member Array MasterGuns's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info and links everyone. Very helpful, and no unresolved issues.

    Now if I could only avoid Maryland!
    Pain is weakness leaving the body

  11. #11
    Member Array American Pit Bull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGuns View Post
    Now if I could only avoid Maryland!
    I hear that! And the sad part is, that I really like Maryland. I used to spend several thousand dollars there every year.

    Now I avoid the state like the plague.

  12. #12
    Member Array JG01's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post MasterGuns. I'm heading to PA myself this month and was looking up info for the question.

    Thanks all for the responses.

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