Concealed Carry in PA?


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exoduster18
December 28, 2005, 11:44 PM
I've read all the info on PA that Packing.org provides and that damn legalese has me confused. So my question is this: Can I, at age 18, legally carry concealed here in PA? Or do I have to be 21?

I'm confused because it looks like I can at age 18, but then it seems to contradict itself in saying that I have to be 21. I'm confoosed.....

Thanks for the replies.

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Brian Williams
December 28, 2005, 11:51 PM
You can get a handgun Hunting carry permit at 18 but to carry for Self Defense you need to be 21.

I just got my reminder to get mine renewed $25 for 5 years.

exoduster18
December 28, 2005, 11:57 PM
So I can carry in the woods but not on the street? ***?!:cuss: I can carry concealed in the woods but in the areas where crimes against people are being committed, I have to be 21? What more do I learn about gun handling/safety and being proactive in my own defense in the three years? Or is this just to make sure that I become a really good shot if need be in the public by practicing while hunting?:D :what: :neener:

exoduster18
December 28, 2005, 11:59 PM
Oh and thanks for the info too.

goon
December 29, 2005, 12:04 AM
In principle I agree. But it is what it is. When you turn 21 you will have no trouble getting a CCW permit. PA is a gun friendly state.

FallenAngel
December 29, 2005, 12:26 AM
PA is very gun friendly. PA has some of the least restrictive gun laws, specifically on where you can/cannot carry.

As for the 21 thing, yeah it sucks, but then again any laws limiting our 2nd admendment suck.

P95Carry
December 29, 2005, 12:44 AM
Yes indeed, 21 ... for SD.

But be glad that PA is very shall issue. My own county is good - no delays - in and out 20-30 minutes. Some seem to do it slower - like mail it to you in a week. But compared with many - it is good.

I do tho recommend when time comes - do at least a Basic Pistol course from NRA and then Personal Protection - it is good to carry with some semblance of initial training - after which much more should follow.

Patience - sad to say - only way to go.

exoduster18
December 29, 2005, 12:50 AM
I love living in PA. I just wish I could carry concealed at age 18 instead of 21.

I also know that it is also a very gun friendly state. Of course, then again nothing is as bad Kalifornistan. I love living in PA.

Thanks!!

RyanM
December 29, 2005, 01:15 AM
Get your sportsman's firearm permit. Use it to apply for a nonresident NH permit. Start packing.

That's what I did.

edit: Packing as in carrying. Not packing as in moving to NH or something.

exoduster18
December 29, 2005, 01:49 AM
So let me get this straight: I can get my sportsmen hunting permit here in PA and use it to get a nonresident CCW for NH? And I'm assuming NH's CCW is honored here in PA?

How does me getting a nonresident for NH get honored here in PA? This is all to confusing......clarifications please!! :)

There is nothing illegal about this?

One more question: Do I have to have the sportsmen hunting permit for PA first? And if so, in order to get a sportsmen hunting permit in PA, do I have to own a pistol, or just use one while hunting?

RyanM
December 29, 2005, 02:19 AM
PA will honor an NH permit, resident or non-resident, as though it were a PA permit. NH has no age requirements for a CCW permit, but has the same law as PA, that you must be 18 to possess a handgun without adult supervision.

The PA Sportsman's firearm permit should be accepted by the NH police as a license to carry with restrictions, for the purpose of getting an NH CCW. You must have a prior CCW, with or without restrictions, before NH will issue a nonresident one. They accepted my Sportsman's permit, so it should be good enough for you as well. This way people in, say, New York can get an NH permit even if all they have for their home state is a "hunting only" license. In theory, anyway. From what I've heard, the NH state police will sometimes turn down applications from people in NY that were made with a hunting only CCW.

To get a PA Sportsman's firearm permit, you must be 18 or older, and you must have a valid hunting, fishing, furtrapping, or dog training license. Fishing is the easiest to get (no hunter safety course), though I believe it costs $5 more than a hunting license. The PA Sportsman's permit allows you to carry a concealed handgun while hunting, fishing, furtrapping, or training dogs, provided that you also have a valid license to do one of those. The license is intended mostly to let you carry a sidearm in case of bears or coyotes, and keep it concealed so you don't scare people.

Oh, the reason why it's called a Sportsman's "firearm" permit is because PA state law defines a "firearm" as: Any pistol or revolver with a barrel length of less than 15 inches, any rifle with a barrel length of less than 16", any shotgun with a barrel length of under 18", and any pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun with an overall length of less than 26". So every handgun I know of is a "firearm." If you know of a model of pistol which is 26" or longer, I'd like to see it.

exoduster18
December 29, 2005, 02:33 AM
RyanM - Thanks for the clarification. I think that is what I'm going to do then. If it's legal and I can't get into any trouble (I don't particulary care for lawyers, unless they are on my side or they are pro-gun (cough *LawDog* cough)

Thanks again for the info. All I can say is sweet!!

RyanM
December 29, 2005, 02:57 AM
Well, whether you get into trouble depends on the area. But with an NH permit, you can be relatively certain that you wouldn't stay in trouble (unless you're in Philly, but not even a PA CCW will keep you from being thrown in jail for packing, there). In other words, it's kind of like open carry. Open carry on foot is 100% legal at age 18 and up, but you may be arrested anyway (or maced, or tackled, or tased). But you wouldn't stay arrested for very long, since it's not actually illegal.

Just avoid doing anything suspicious, don't act like a punk if you ever have to talk to the police, and if it looks like you're going to be arrested anyway, do everything the officer says. If they go over the line, do everything they say anyway, and sue them later. But all the police around here I know are nice guys, and would probably just go "huh, I didn't know that, I guess it's fine then," if you had a printout of the reciprocity laws, or something.

exoduster18
December 29, 2005, 03:02 AM
Is this really legal? I'm all set to do it. I'm from McKean County and I don't think that I would have a problem there with it. I just don't need to be paying fines or anything of the alike as I am in college and always strapped for cash. That is unless it comes to me self defense, then price is no objection. I just want to know if I should expect trouble to come my way or not.

And what would I be arrested for? For doing this? Or are you implying something along the lines of robbing a bank or stealing a car?

I just want to know all of the facts before I commit to it.

Steve in PA
December 29, 2005, 08:57 AM
(unless you're in Philly, but not even a PA CCW will keep you from being thrown in jail for packing, there) .

Huh?? :confused:

Carrying in Philly is perfectly legal with a PA CCW.

Brian Williams
December 29, 2005, 09:39 AM
A Pennsylvania Sportsmans permit is not a Concealed carry permit it is an open carry permit for only while in the woods while hunting for game that is in season and can be taken by handgun or while running a trap line.


RyanM I am not sure you would win if you are found carrying with that NH permit because a sportsmans permit does not allow concealed carry

exoduster18
December 29, 2005, 12:58 PM
Brian - I understand that the Sportsmen Hunting Permit is for use with what Pennsylvania declares is a handgun for hunting. This is where I get confused. NH states that I have to have a permit from my state to get their's. But the Sportsmen Hunting Permit isn't CCW. So how would this work and still be legal? It seems to me that if I got caught going through this process, well, it wouldn't be a pleasant experience. I really enjoy shooting and guns in general and I don't want to lose that just because someone says I can go through this process.

I may not be clearly defined in law. But it just sounds a little to suspicous and a little to many loops to jump through in order to get it. Simply put: it doesn't sound entirely legal.

Thanks for the replies but I think I'll just wait till I'm 21.

RyanM
December 29, 2005, 02:42 PM
And what would I be arrested for? For doing this? Or are you implying something along the lines of robbing a bank or stealing a car?

Something along the lines of "possession of a firearm while young." Then you'd be kicked out of jail a short time later after someone opens a law book.

Huh??

Carrying in Philly is perfectly legal with a PA CCW.

Legal according to state law. But according to the horror stories I've heard, the Philly DA and PD pretty much make up their own laws, and will fabricate charges to keep you in jail, if you're found to be in possession of a firearm. Though the recent case where someone shot a mugger may have proved that wrong.

A Pennsylvania Sportsmans permit is not a Concealed carry permit it is an open carry permit for only while in the woods while hunting for game that is in season and can be taken by handgun or while running a trap line.

RyanM I am not sure you would win if you are found carrying with that NH permit because a sportsmans permit does not allow concealed carry

§ 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
(a) Offense defined.--Any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.

(b) Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

9. Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking furbearers or fishing or are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take furbearers or fish or returning from such places.
10. Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually training dogs during the regular training season.

c) Sportsman's firearm permit.--

1. Before any exception shall be granted under paragraph (b)(9) or (10) of this section to any person 18 years of age or older licensed to hunt, trap or fish or who has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs, such person shall, at the time of securing his hunting, furtaking or fishing license or any time after such license has been issued, secure a sportsman's firearm permit from the county treasurer.

--------

Whether that license allows concealed carry is irrelevant anyway. The NH license does allow concealed carry while in NH, and any states (such as PA) which will honor a nonresident NH permit. If the NH state law were changed to be crazy, you could get an NH permit with a gum wrapper. The fact that a gum wrapper won't let you carry concealed is irrelevant, as long as it gets you the NH permit. Better example. If you live in VT, you can get an NH permit if you get your county sherriff to write a letter to the NH state police. A letter from a VT sherriff won't let you carry concealed anywhere, but it's still good enough to get an NH permit, and that permit is still good enough to let you carry concealed in NH, PA, NC, etc.

In any case, a Sportsman's permit was good enough to get me an NH CCW.

PaladinVC
December 29, 2005, 03:06 PM
While we're on the topic, what is the authority of a business owner to restrict firearms possession on the grounds of his business? For instance, there's a "No Firearms" sign on the door of the dollar movie theater in Erie. If a licensed individual is discovered to be carrying concealed there (unlikely, but assume it happens), are there legal ramifications, or do you just get kicked out?

P95Carry
December 29, 2005, 03:13 PM
I have not put that to the test here - not yet seen a notice anywhere in my general area.

Unless tho IIRC the notice has any true legal status, it is only possible for the establishment to ask you to leave - and if you do not then you commit a trespass.

This is what seems the case in many states - maybe an LEO here could comment on that.

RyanM
December 29, 2005, 03:16 PM
In PA, the only places where CCW with a license is not legal are courthouses (courtrooms, judge's chambers, and DA's office only, in two counties), correctional facilities, post offices, state parks, any other federal or state property, and I think that's it.

A "no firearms" sign on a movie theater has no more legal weight than a "don't bring your own food into the theater" sign. You could be kicked out for either though, and you could be charged with defiant trespassing if you don't leave when asked.

You may spend a couple hours in jail if caught with a gun, though. It depends on what the reaction to the "man with a gun" 911 call is. The ideal response from the dispatcher would be "has he shot anyone? Has he threatened anyone? Is he brandishing it? Are you some kind of moron? I'm sending the police to arrest you for disturbing the peace."

geekWithA.45
December 29, 2005, 06:06 PM
My understanding could be faulty, but I'm under the impression that the sportsmen's license is a leftover that predates shall issue reforms.

None the less, it was left on the books, probably so as not to invalidate permits that existed at the time.

I never heard of anybody who actually had one.

exoduster18
December 29, 2005, 08:24 PM
Ok then, this is entirely legal? If I were to get caught, I may be thrown in the slammer and then if they (the arresting officials) actually look into the laws, I would be set free without any sort of charges brought against me?

Brian Williams
December 29, 2005, 11:21 PM
RyanM is saying it is legal, but I will disagree with him and say he obtained his New Hampshire permit under false pretenses, the Sportsmans permit is not a concealed carry permit and it will only allow an 18 to 21 year old the ability to open carry while going to and from and while hunting.

Kurt_M
December 29, 2005, 11:35 PM
I'll have to side with Brian here. The NH permit may be a legal loophole, but I wouldn't want to be the test case. If you really want to try it, I suggest writing to the AG for a legal determination before you shell out the money and start carrying. His decision is the only one that truly matters as far as the legality of the thing goes. I hope it does work out for you, I sure wish I could have gotten my permit at 18.

exoduster18
December 29, 2005, 11:42 PM
Brian and Kurt M - I entirely agree with you guys on the legal loophole and the test case. I don't want to be it. I'll just wait till I'm 21 and do everything legally.

goon
December 30, 2005, 12:11 AM
Also, on asking the state AG's office...
I spoke with someone from their office once. He was THE GUY in their office who handled firearms cases. He had the answers.
I asked him about tranferring a gun that I had gotten with my C&R liscense to my dad without having him fill out PA's little state handgun registration form (whatever they call it). He didn't know what I was talking about. The response was something like "What form? Other than the 4473? It has been awhile since I bought a handgun so maybe they changed it."
Bear in mind that I was told by the other people I spoke to at the AG's office that the man I was speaking to was supposedly "THE GUY".
And while we are at it, never ask the police for clarification on a gun law. Save yourself the effort.

exoduster18
December 30, 2005, 12:36 AM
Would it be easier for me just to cal the State Police and ask? I'm thinking that they could define it better to me......

RyanM
December 30, 2005, 12:46 AM
The usual interpretation of the law is that open carry on foot is legal in PA. There are no laws against carrying openly as long as you do not enter a vehicle or conceal the gun. Therefore, you don't need any permit to carry openly on foot.

The part of the law where it says it's illegal to carry concealed and/or in a vehicle has a specific exemption, for people hunting, fishing, etc., with a sportsman's permit. Exception (9) and (10) do not say "only for the purpose of open carry," "only for the purpose of transporting the firearm," or any such phrasing. They are an exemption from the entire text of subsection (a), just as much as any of the other ones are.

Exception (1) is for "Constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers." Does that mean a police officer must obtain a concealed carry permit in order to transport their duty sidearm in a squad car, or to carry a concealed BUG? No, they are exempt from the entire text of subsection (a).

On the other hand, exception (4) does have additional text. It says "Any persons engaged in target shooting with rifle, pistol, or revolver, if such persons are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practice and if, while going to or from their places of assembly or target practice, the cartridges or shells are carried in a separate container and the rifle, pistol or revolver is unloaded." Once again, exceptions (9) and (10) do not have any such language, and thus they apply to the entire text of subsection (a).

The entire text of statute 6106 is as follows:

§ 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
(a) Offense defined.--Any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.

(b) Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

1. Constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers.
2. Members of the army, navy or marine corps of the United States or of the National Guard or organized reserves when on duty.
3. The regularly enrolled members of any organization duly organized to purchase or receive such weapons from the United States or from this Commonwealth.
4. Any persons engaged in target shooting with rifle, pistol, or revolver, if such persons are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practice and if, while going to or from their places of assembly or target practice, the cartridges or shells are carried in a separate container and the rifle, pistol or revolver is unloaded.
5. Officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry a concealed firearm.
6. Agents, messengers and other employees of common carriers, banks, or business firms, whose duties require them to protect moneys, valuables and other property in the discharge of such duties.
7. Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person, having in his possession, using or carrying a firearm in the usual or ordinary course of such business.
8. Any person while carrying a firearm unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair or back to his home or place of business, or in moving from one place of abode or business to another or from his home to a vacation or recreational home or dwelling or back, or to recover stolen property under section 6111.1(b)(4) (relating to Pennsylvania State Police) or to a location to which the person has been directed to surrender firearms under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) or back upon return of the surrendered firearm.
9. Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking furbearers or fishing or are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take furbearers or fish or returning from such places.
10. Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually training dogs during the regular training season.
11. Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle, which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the United States or any other state.

(c) Sportsman's firearm permit.--

1. Before any exception shall be granted under paragraph (b)(9) or (10) of this section to any person 18 years of age or older licensed to hunt, trap or fish or who has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs, such person shall, at the time of securing his hunting, furtaking or fishing license or any time after such license has been issued, secure a sportsman's firearm permit from the county treasurer. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be issued immediately and be valid throughout this Commonwealth for a period of five years from the date of issue for any legal firearm, when carried in conjunction with a valid hunting, furtaking or fishing license or permit relating to hunting dogs. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be in triplicate on a form to be furnished by the Pennsylvania State Police. The original permit shall be delivered to the person, and the first copy thereof, within seven days, shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police by the county treasurer. The second copy shall be retained by the county treasurer for a period of two years from the date of expiration. The county treasurer shall be entitled to collect a fee of not more than $6 for each such permit issued, which shall include the cost of any official form. The Pennsylvania State Police may recover from the county treasurer the cost of any such form, but may not charge more than $1 for each official permit form furnished to the county treasurer.
2. Any person who sells or attempts to sell a sportsman's firearm permit for a fee in excess of that amount fixed under this subsection commits a summary offense.

(d) Revocation of registration.--Any registration of a firearm under subsection (c) of this section may be revoked by the county treasurer who issued it, upon written notice to the holder thereof.


Avoiding trouble with the law and not being a test case is all well and good, but I'd rather be alive and have all my brains and body parts in the correct place, than stay out of legal trouble. Considering that, according to the PA UCR, Butler City (I live in Butler Township, but I go in and out of Butler City almost every day) has a bunch more total assaults and a ton more aggravated assaults per population than Philly, I think that personally, I'm better off taking my chances with the cops and lawyers than I am taking my chances with everyone else.


In any case, I just sent an e-mail to the AG's office for clarification, so hopefully I'll get something better than "I dunno."

"Hello, I would like a clarification of the exceptions to subsection (a) of statute 6106. I have been told that the sportsman's firearm permit is only valid for the purpose of open carry of a pistol while hunting, fishing, taking furbearers, or training dogs, or while going to or from a place where one of these will be done. However, neither the text of sections (b)(9) and (b)(10), nor the text of (c)(1), make any reference to the permit only being valid for the purpose of open carry. It appears that someone excepted under subsection (b)(9) or (b)(10) is excepted from the entire text of subsection (a), and is thus permitted to carry a concealed firearm while hunting, etc. Thank you in advance for your reply."

goon
December 30, 2005, 01:43 AM
exoduster - It would be easier to call the state police and ask them. It probably wouldn't be more productive though...

Rezin
December 30, 2005, 02:06 AM
Would it be easier for me just to cal the State Police and ask? I'm thinking that they could define it better to me......


Actually, SP have little if anythign to do with it in PA. Call your county sheriffs office, they'll have the answers for ya ;)

Steve in PA
December 30, 2005, 02:33 AM
If you think PSP lacks knowledge, the Sheriff's Dept is even farther behind the curve.

goon
December 30, 2005, 02:53 AM
Steve in PA - You sound like another man who tried to get an answer to a simple question. :D

exoduster18
December 30, 2005, 03:39 AM
I won't bother with she sheriff's department of where I from because the sheriff's department doesn't know/do diddly squat. I'm not bashing LEO's or the people who work for the county sheriff's department, but they tend to not do enough when needed. Not incompetent, just lazy.

I also happen to personally know a state police officer so I'll ask him.

Thanks again for the replies.

Steve in PA
December 30, 2005, 08:51 AM
Steve in PA - You sound like another man who tried to get an answer to a simple question. :D

No, I've just read and heard about some of the "info" they claim to have knowledge of. They don't.

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