PA vs LA

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by qwert65, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    I have the opportunity to move to PA assuming the money, etc works out I’d like to look at my two favorite hobbies- shooting and being outdoors
    The area I’m looking at is an hour outside benslam PA (not including NJ) I grew up in NJ so I’m familiar with the area but left before I got really into firearms
    I currently live in Louisiana and pretty much shoot in my backyard (40 acres)
    I looked up the gun laws but what’s the culture there like? Do the police sign off on carry permits as a matter of course?
    Is hunting popular there?
     
  2. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Originally from PA, grew up in Western PA, worked and lived in Central and Eastern PA.

    Deer hunting is basically a state holiday, schools still give the first day of deer season off in most locations.

    Most of the state is rural/small town/suburb.

    As far as I know, police don't sign off on anything. To get a carry permit, you go to your courthouse, pay $20 for a background check, and they hand you your permit. I think Philly has their own policy, but I stay away from that dumpster town.


    To simplify it:

    Living in Allegheny county (Pittsburgh) or near Jersey/Philly will give alot of "blue" opinions on guns/hunting/politics.

    But once you leave those areas, it's very "red".

    I hate to break it down that way, but that's generally how it goes.

    Overall, PA is a great 2A and hunting state, but there is some issues.

    Basically, it mimicks the US. Most of the geography is rural, with dense urban areas in a few counties on the ends, which makes voting flip-flop often.
     
  3. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Oh, of note: buying guns

    PA does not use NICS, they is their own version called PICS. There's some debate about it's legality as a backdoor registry.

    PA does not use a registry, but you'll hear people say "is this gun in your name" or "is it registered to you". Those people are dumb/ill informed.

    If buying a handgun, you'll fill out a 4473 and another handgun check form called a PA28 (I think, I don't live there anymore).

    Long guns are just a 4473.

    If selling a gun, a handgun most go through an FFL.

    Any long gun can be person to person without an FFL.

    This is when you'll hear people say "we gotta go to the gun store to get it in your name". That's false, but you still need an FFL transfer.

    Personally, it's dangerous language as it normalizes a registry. But that's another topic.

    No waiting periods or permits needed to purchase.

    That's as far as I remember
     
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  4. MJD

    MJD Member

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    PA native, lived in many parts of the state as a youth and adult......also lived in LA for a decade.

    The posts above nailed the high points. Curious to know which general part of PA?

    Deer gun season is a lot shorter in PA. Carry permit is way, way easier to get in PA.

    Generally, gun rights are good and availability of shooting ranges are solid when you get out of the Philly area and Pittsburgh and into the, as it is locally referred to, the Republican T of the state.

    I see you're from NJ, but I cannot emphasize enough how great the drop in humidity is going to be :)

    Edited to add a few other random tidbits:
    FTF sales allowed for long arms, but background checks have to be done at FFL.

    The alcohol laws are very curious to someone just coming into the state, especially from LA (unless you're in a north LA dry county) - brace yourself for state stores and restrictions on buying more than one 12 pack at a time, if you happen to drink.

    Your car insurance premiums will likely decrease dramatically.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  5. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Ah yes, PA booze laws are dumb, especially since it's supposed to be a "common wealth".

    Thank goodness for Sheetz fighting that.

    Oh yes, Sheetz is better than WaWa.
     
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  6. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    My brother lives in PA just outside Philly. He is one of the few people (outside on here) I can talk to about AR stuff, holsters, new purchases etc. Before the pandemic, he was going to the range twice a week which is a lot more than I have been able to go lately. He has a carry permit but does not carry as religiously as I do. The process for a permit in PA is easier than LA based on what I have heard. No online form I can find, so set aside a day to go to a state police station after you get your PA DL.
     
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  7. MJD

    MJD Member

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    I see now I overlooked that you will be in East PA. Not quite God's own Western PA, but not NY or NJ :)

    Since you said "one hour outside" of the town, not sure if that is north or west.....but either way, your access to state game lands and shooting areas should be good.

    Regarding your question on hunting popularity....there is a robust hunting culture in the state. The main difference from LA is that the majority of people hunt public land as opposed to leasing, and corn feeders aren't legal!
    If you enjoy bird hunting, the state has an active pheasant stocking program on the state game lands.
     
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  8. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    Thanks for the replies seems like a carry permit is easy enough.
    Sadly it will be near philly specifically Parx racetrack so an hour from there in any direction ( still looking at real estate)
     
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  9. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    County issues the concealed carry permit, go to the courthouse. The state game lands are a 1,000,000+ acre resource donated and purchased by hunters and open to the public, but managed for hunting, there will be a game lands relatively near you. Whitetails, tutkeys and bears are the primary focus, but there is a population of elk, and a lottery for tags.

    Between the mountains and rivers, travel is less direct than other regions. Pennsylvania is often described as Pittsburgh on one end, Philly on the other and Alabama in between. I'm happy to not live on either end.
     
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  10. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I seem to recall that PA had one of the biggest deer yields in the country, especially in the east..
     
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  11. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Yeah, I can't count how many times I've heard somebody say something to that effect and if I'm being honest, I might have said it a time or two many years ago. I had just assumed that buying a gun on the books was the same as a registry. I realize it's not so cut and dry as that but I still understand why people prefer the handshake sale.
     
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  12. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Alot of guys in Vermont talk about Pennsylvania deer hunting, kind of in the same context of "Alberta monsters" or "ol herbie hatrack". Vermont isn't rich in deer like it once was, old timers tell me in the old days you couldn't take a leak in the trees without spraying a 10 pointer, now the herd is much much smaller. Alot of guys go to PA to hunt because evidently it's some of the nicest whitetail bucks in the nation, or I'm told. Arent there quite a few record deer taken in PA?
     
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  13. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    Yeppers...the laws are goofy in PA. When I lived there (I left in 2009), if you wanted a case and a half of beer and a bottle of wine - three stores - a beer distributor (cases only), a bar (12 pack or less), and a state store.

    I lived in Lancaster County for 12 years. Beautiful, Amish, Corn and Tomatoes - a great little place. I worked in York, Hanover, Lansdale, and Allentown. Based on where you are going to work - I would look north and west. Take our time to find what you want. Housing pricing is what I think of as outrageous. My Lancaster house was modest, but in a good neighborhood - I think it sold north of $200/sq ft.

    If you are not able to create your own range, you will probably end up in a club. There are some public ranges, but not always easy to get to.

    As for purchasing, I was routinely delayed. It always seemed that 30 minutes after I left the store, I cleared. It did not matter if I left immediately, or waltzed around for an hour - 30 minutes after I left, I cleared.

    Like everyone above has said, there are big cities on each end - and a lot of good in the middle.
     
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  14. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Pennsylvania is a ''shall issue'' state as far as CCW permits are concerned. If you have a clean background, the county sheriff's office will issue you a carry permit. The permit is good for 3 years and the cost is around 25-30.00 if I recall correctly. It's good anywhere in the state except government buidings, schools etc. No written or shooting tests required.
     
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  15. NuShootr

    NuShootr member

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    The area around there is really quite nice. Real estate there is not crazy and the land and homes can be quite beautiful. I used to work in that area.

    Robust hunting culture in and around your area. Shotgun, muzzle load, bow, rifle, you name it. Some really nice gun shops not too far, either. The Heritage Guild is a spectacular shop, but in Easton, PA. Not terribly far.
     
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  16. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Snow vs. Hurricanes? I've shot in PA at some clubs. Very nice area. Climates are quite different. Having moved from hot TX to now snowing WNY - I prefer the cold, even though it is a pain at times.
     
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  17. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    PA has one of the most awesome flintlock cultures of anywhere in the country. I guess it was called the Pennsylvania rifle for a reason. I have only ever visited there but made sure to check out as many long rifle spots as I could.

    Side note: If you have 40 acres now, I would be loathe to give it up without replacing it in some way.
     
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  18. Encoreman

    Encoreman Member

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    Unless you lost your job in La, stay in La. Lived in Easton, Pa. really close to Phillipsburg, N.J. they would steal the pennies off a dead mans eyes. Lived in Mississippi for 45 years very close to La, went there lots on business. No brainer I would live in a tent on your 40 acres in La. before I would live in a mansion in Pa. JMHO.
     
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  19. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    It's getting alot better since they put in antler restrictions about 15 years ago. But it never was, or never will produce the big bucks like the midwest farm states. An attraction could be the large public acreage open to hunting in the north central part of the state. There still is a great hunting tradition in the state.
     
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  20. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I think PA state law mandates see through rings on your deer rifles :rofl:
     
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  21. MJD

    MJD Member

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    OP, I haven't hunted PA for a few years now.....but formerly, there was ZERO Sunday hunting. I believe there is now limited Sunday hunting....again, just another weird regional idiosyncracy.
     
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  22. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    There's a joke in there, what is it? I've been thinking about it for 25 minutes, I deserve to know.
     
  23. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    Stay away from Pittsburgh and Philly. Besides those dumps, you’ll find lots of rural communities that are pro-gun and love America. No waiting periods. No permits required to purchase. Just go into a gun shop, buy what you want, and walk out. Concealed carry permits require you to stop at the Sheriff’s Office in the courthouse for about 10 mins to fill out a form, get a photo, and pay ~$25; you can walk out with your new permit (good for 5 years); as others mentioned, around Philly and possibly Pittsburgh, they make it more difficult. NFA items are allowed. PA also has preemption (basically stops localities from making up their own gun laws in order to create uniformity across the commonwealth) which has been strengthened through case law.

    The downsides are that semi-autos are not legal to hunt big game with. Also, automatic knives are not legal in PA. Private party sales of long guns does not require anything, but private party transfers of handguns must be conducted by an FFL.
     
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  24. Mark 40

    Mark 40 Member

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    qwert- don't have much to add, it's pretty well covered above. Moved to PA from NY state, so you can imagine how I look at it. Hope your move goes well if it comes about.
     
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