Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. Pennsylvania ranked 11th out of 50 – having enacted some gun violence prevention laws.
In 2013, Pennsylvania did not enact any new laws regarding firearms.
Among other things, Pennsylvania:
- Requires a background check prior to the private sale of a handgun;
- Conducts its own background checks for firearm sales; and
- Requires firearm dealers to obtain a state license.
However, Pennsylvania does not:
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require firearm owners to obtain a license;
- Require the registration of firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
- Regulate unsafe handguns;
- Regulate ammunition sales;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms or ammunition; or
- Provide local law enforcement with discretion to deny a license to carry firearms.
In 2010, Pennsylvania had the 30th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Pennsylvania had the 30th highest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2009–meaning that crime guns originally sold in Pennsylvania were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 30th highest rate among the states. Based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in every year from 2006 through 2009, Pennsylvania was one of the top ten interstate suppliers of crime guns. Pennsylvania is the top interstate supplier of crime guns to Delaware and New Jersey.
Pennsylvania Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Pennsylvania, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.