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Pennsylvania Gun Laws and How They Differ Throughout the State

By    |   Sunday, 16 November 2014 09:32 PM

Pennsylvania gun laws can be confusing. Residents of the state have to be careful where they go with their guns, because the laws vary depending on the city.

According to the Pennsylvania State Constitution (Article 1, Section 21), “the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.” Despite the constitutional provision to protect gun rights, and laws that say the rules must be consistent throughout the state, residents in some 30 cities are going to find much greater regulations than those who live in other parts of the state.

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One of the issues in question is a lost and stolen gun law, which would require people to fill out a police report if their guns go missing. It is a regulation that state lawmakers have refused to make a part of Pennsylvania gun laws. According to the Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh is among the municipalities that are now suing the state over their rights to have the law, even though they have never even enforced it.

The group CeaseFire PA, which advocates for stricter gun laws, the municipalities that have passed similar lost and stolen gun laws include: Abington Township, Aliquippa, Allentown, Ambler, Baldwin, Braddock, Brentwood, Bridgeport, Castle Shannon, Catasauqua, Charleroi, Cheltenham, Chester, Clairton, Conshohocken, Duquesne, Easton, Erie, Glassport, Harrisburg, Hatfield Township, Heidelberg, Homestead, Jenkintown, Lancaster, Liberty, Lincoln, Munhall, Norristown, Oxford, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plymouth Township, Pottsville, Radnor Township, Reading, Sharon Hill, Swarthmore, Upper Merion Township, West Chester, West Conshohocken, West Homestead, West Mifflin, Whitaker, Whitemarsh Township, Wilkinsburg, Wilson, and York.

There are other laws cities in Pennsylvania have passed that extend beyond state statutes. In Philadelphia, the city council has enacted a law requiring people to have a license for owning a gun within city limits. They must provide fingerprints, a photograph, address and work history as well as their date and place of birth to get the license. Pennsylvania gun laws do not require such licensing.

Those who want to carry a handgun in the state can apply for a conceal-carry permit. Visitors may also apply for permits. However, not every county in the state will process them. While Pennsylvania does not have any additional state restrictions on guns regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), some counties are more friendly to weapons than others. The Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association keeps a list of counties that are friendly to visitor permits and guns regulated by the NFA. 

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws of your state and destination before travel.

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Pennsylvania gun laws can be confusing. Residents of the state have to be careful where they go with their guns, because the laws depending on the city.
pennsylvania, gun, laws
Sunday, 16 November 2014 09:32 PM
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