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What is law for non-PA resident to visit PA range with handgun?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bushmaster1313, Apr 12, 2013.

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  1. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    What is the law that allows or prohibits a non-PA resident to travel to a PA gun range with an unloaded handgun in the trunk of the car?

    In other words, what is the law for a non-PA resident to be in possession of an unloaded handgun in the trunk of their car on the highway and to possess a loaded handgun on the premises of a shooting range in PA.

    Please do not cite to FOPA

    Also, under current law, a non-NY resident without a NY permit cannot take a handgun to a range in NY.
     
  2. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    There is no PA law that I know of that prohibits anyone from out of state travelling with a locked, unloaded firearm, separated from its ammo, in the trunk of their car.

    What gave you the impression you can't do that? PA is not New Jersey.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2013
  3. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    What about possessing handgun loaded at the range?
     
  4. md2lgyk

    md2lgyk Member

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    I've been attending pistol matches in PA for years. Never heard of such a law. I don't know if the gun even has to be in the trunk. I don't have a trunk, so I just strap my gun box into the passenger's seat. Never been an issue, but then, I've never been stopped either.
     
  5. Colonel

    Colonel Member

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    Most laws prohibit behavior rather than "allow" behavior.

    Otherwise, we'd have a lot of people locked up for things like eating their salads with their dinner forks.
     
  6. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Are you talking public or private range? To use the public ranges you need a valid hunting license or a state issued range use permit. Private ranges are just that so as long you are allowed to be there you are fine.

    As far as a firearm in a vehicle. A vehicle is considered concealed carry. If you don't have a valid concealed carry permit then the firearm must be unloaded and not easily accessible. So for a car, in the trunk. And for a truck in a box(not sure if has to be locked). To play it safe I would not travel with it up front if you have a back seat or a shelf behind the seats. It needs to be separate from the ammo as well. This is the same law for state residents as well.


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  7. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    What law or statute requires the unloaded gun to be separated from the ammo?
     
  8. Tom488

    Tom488 Member

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    The Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, Title 18, section 6106, Firearms not to be carried without a license is what you're looking for. I won't paste it in here - Google should easily find it.

    Unlike NJ, PA law doesn't prohibit mere possession. Rather, the above section prohibits carrying of the firearm concealed, or in a vehicle. It's a subtle difference, but "carrying in a vehicle" is NOT the same as "carrying concealed". For example, you can carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle if you possess a carry permit from ANY state (read section 6106, paragraph (b)(11) for that particular exception), but you may only carry concealed on or about your person if you have a carry permit from a reciprocal state, or a LTCF from PA (of course) - that's 6106(a)(1).

    Therefore, there is no law prohibiting "possession" of a loaded firearm at a range. Hell, there's no law prohibiting possession of a loaded firearm at all (outside of Philly, at least). That's what makes Open Carry in PA legal... the fact that there's no law against it.
     
  9. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    In PA, a person needs a LTCF in order to carry a loaded firearm (handgun) inside a vehicle.

    § 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
    (a) OFFENSE DEFINED. —
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), 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.


    Lacking a LTCF, a person can have an "unloaded" firearm in their vehicle, however they are very limited as to when and where they can do this. One allowance is going to and from a range or place where they want to shoot, provided the firearm is unloaded.


    (b) EXCEPTIONS. — The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:
    (4) Any persons engaged in target shooting with a firearm, 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 firearm is not loaded.


    A loaded firearm is defined as;

    “LOADED.” A firearm is loaded if the firing chamber, the nondetachable magazine or in the case of a revolver, any of the chambers of the cylinder contain ammunition capable of being fired. In the case of a firearm which utilizes a detachable magazine, the term shall mean a magazine suitable for use in said firearm which magazine contains such ammunition and has been inserted in the firearm or is in the same container or, where the container has multiple compartments, the same compartment thereof as the firearm. If the magazine is inserted into a pouch, holder, holster or other protective device that provides for a complete and secure enclosure of the ammunition, then the pouch, holder, holster or other protective device shall be deemed to be a separate compartment.

    Ammo must be carried in a separate compartment. In other words, you cannot dump your handgun and ammo in a single compartment range bag. However, if the range bag as multiple compartments, the ammo can be in one compartment while the handgun can be in another compartment. Think, not being able to physically touch each other. This only applies to people without a LTCF. A person with a LTCF would be able to dump everything together.

    The above laws regarding to transporting an unloaded firearm would apply to a non-resident as well. Just remember, without a LTCF or a license from a state with reciprocity with PA, a person cannot drive around with an unloaded firearm inside their vehicle unless they are doing very limited activities.

    This is the entire section;

    § 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
    (a) OFFENSE DEFINED. —
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), 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.
    (2) A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license under this chapter but 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 and has not committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor of the first 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, marine corps, air force or coast guard 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 firearms from the United States or from this Commonwealth.
    (4) Any persons engaged in target shooting with a firearm, 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 firearm is not loaded.
    (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 which is not loaded and is in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair, sale or appraisal 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 place of instruction intended to teach the safe handling, use or maintenance of firearms or back or to a location to which the person has been directed to relinquish firearms under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm or to a licensed dealer’s place of business for relinquishment pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S § 6108.2 (relating to relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm or to a location for safekeeping pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment to third party for safekeeping) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm.
    (9) Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking furbearers or fishing as permitted by such license, 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.
    (12) A person who has a lawfully issued license to carry a firearm pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) and that said license expired within six months prior to the date of arrest and that the individual is otherwise eligible for renewal of the license.
    (13) Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a firearm under this chapter and who is operating a motor vehicle which is registered in the person’s name or the name of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which a valid license has been issued pursuant to section 6109 to the spouse or parent owning the firearm.
    (14) A person lawfully engaged in the interstate transportation of a firearm as defined under 18 U.S.C § 921(a)(3) (relating to definitions) in compliance with 18 U.S.C. § 926A (relating to interstate transportation of firearms).
    (15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and the state under section 6109(k), provided:
    (i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for individuals licensed to carry firearms under section 6109.
    (ii) The Attorney General has determined that the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.
    (16) Any person holding a license in accordance with section 6109(f)(3).
    (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.
    (e) DEFINITIONS. —
    (1) For purposes of subsection (b)(3), (4), (5), (7) and (8), the term “firearm” shall include any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of the weapon.
    (2) As used in this section, the phrase “place of instruction” shall include any hunting club, rifle club, rifle range, pistol range, shooting range, the premises of a licensed firearms dealer or a lawful gun show or meet.
     
  10. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    If plan on using a PA Game Commission Range, a person needs either a valid PA hunting license or a range use permit.

    There is no requirement that the firearm/ammo must be out of reach or not easily accessible. You can drive with everything on your front seat is you want to, provided you follow the "separate compartment" requirement if it applies to you.

    No license, other than those needed for using the PGC ranges is needed to have a loaded firearm at the range. In other words, no license to carry is required. However, the PGC does have magazine limitations when using their ranges. No more than (6) rounds in a handgun or (3) rounds in a rifle. If you are at a private range or property this regulation would not apply, unless that range has something similar.
     
  11. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Again, I ask you to post the statute or law which says the AMMUNITION must be in a separate compartment or container. The statute that you posted refers to magazines containing ammunition. I put an unloaded pistol in a gun case, with an empty magazine in the gun case, but not in the firearm, and a closed factory box of ammo in the gun case and lock it. What portion of the above definition of loaded am I violating?
     
  12. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    This really answers my question:

     
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    You can't go to a public range in PA without a permit? Am I reading this correctly?
     
  14. bhesler

    bhesler Member

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    PA Game Commission has ranges on State game lands. You need a hunting permit or range permit to use those ranges only, not for all ranges open to the public.
     
  15. msb45

    msb45 Member

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    By public he means state owned. PA Game Commission runs them, that's why a hunting license is OK.

    Bottom line without a permit keep it UNLOADED in a vehicle. Unless in Philly you can step out of your vehicle and open carry (possible PD contact depending on area you're in).

    Best bet is get a License to Carry Firearms.
     
  16. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    When I said ammo, I should have explained I meant magazines containing ammo, in other words a loaded magazine.

    Without a LTCF you CANNOT drive around with an unloaded firearm unless you are going to a range and a few other places.

    Without a LTCF you CANNOT drive around with an unloaded firearm to a place you want to open carry!
     
  17. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    That seemed to be what the law said to me :). Many people when they talk about FOPA (Federal interstate transportation law) and California law, they incorrectly state that those laws require the ammunition to be seperated from the gun and magazines. Neither law requires it. In fact, if you are traveling interstate and relying upon FOPA and you have the unloaded gun in the trunk and a box of ammunition in the glove box or other area accessible to the passengers you are not complying with FOPA and have just given up the protection the law offers. Thank you for clarifying that I was reading the law correctly.
     
  18. thorazine

    thorazine Member

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    So in other words...

    No fun allowed. :D
     
  19. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Those laws are ridiculous. I had no idea they were so severe in PA.

    Best bet is to get the heck out of that state. Realizing that that is not always practical, your best bet then would be to become active and get those laws changed.
     
  20. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    They aren't that severe. Obtaining your concealed permit is a short easy process in most counties. The Sheriff comes into my town once a month to process them on the spot. It took me ten minutes to have it in my hands. The one law that does need to be changed is the handgun registration. I don't like that the state police have a record of all handgun purchases. But that's getting off topic.

    All public ranges are run by the Game Commission. You better watch the load limits on them. The six round limit is if they have a dedicated pistol range. If they don't then it's three rounds no matter what you're shooting. What's nice for PA residents is the amount of private clubs that are around. No need to bother with the wild west shows at the public ranges.

    As to why I said in the trunk and separate from the ammo. It's from personal experience before I had my CCW. Nothing happened besides some major harassment and my schedule being screwed up for a few hours. I've found that most law enforcement, by me, doesn't know the actual laws. So if it's in the trunk and separate from the ammo there is nothing they can question.


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  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    LOL! Coming from somebody in TEXAS (the pro-gun state that isn't), that's rich! :neener:

    But seriously, the law here is quite easy to follow and the LCTF is one of the easiest in the US to obtain, and almost the least restrictive on where one may carry. The Game Commission rules for their ranges are silly, but I don't know anyone who goes to those ranges anyway, as we have so many shooting clubs in the state that you can find something to suit your tastes no matter where you live -- and they're CHEAP. (I think I counted five gun clubs that are closer to my house than the ones I belong to!)
     
  22. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    No kidding, Sam. Texas is not more gun-friendly than PA, not with the mandatory training class and > $100.00 LTC fee.

    You might have an issue gettting a License to Carry in PA. I recall that the statute says something to the effect that if your state of residence issues a LTC, you must prroduce that to get a PA non-resident LTC. Even if you live in places like Maryland or New Jersey who don't give it out to normal people. If they issue one, you must get one. They make exceptions for States that do not issue them at all, and allow them to apply for a non-resident LTC without first having one from their state of residence. Right now that's only Illinois, but soon to change.

    Sam, doesn't PA recognize Utah's LTC? That's probably a better route to go as it will allow you to carry in more states than a PA license will; doesn't require you have a license from the state where you reside; and can be obtained entirely by mail.
     
  23. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Member

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    The worst thing about where I live in Pennsylvania is the "Iron Curtain" AKA The Deleware River is 500 feet from my residence.I have to remember every time I cross that bridge that I am going into the "Peoples Republic of New Jersey" and could end up in a heap of "DooDoo"!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  24. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Yup! :)
     
  25. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    That's what I thought. I'd encourage you to pursue a Utah Permit, as it'll be easier for you to get than a PA non-resident LTC.

    You won't be able to use a State Game Commission public range without a hunting license or use permit. Go join a private non-for-profit range or rent the lanes at a for-profit gun range. While you're there the only regulations on a loaded firearm you'll need to concern yourself with are the ones they ask you to observe while on their property.

    Understand that most laws are not written to "permit" activity. They define prohibited activity.
     
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