Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated December 22, 2011
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearms-related policy areas. Pennsylvania ranked 13th out of 50 – having enacted some relatively strong gun violence prevention laws.
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.
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.