Can I get a concealed carry license in Pennsylvania?
First, it must be emphasized that the laws regarding issuance of a concealed carry license are different from laws governing the possession and purchase of firearms. Obviously, if a person is not permitted to possess a gun, then the person cannot get a concealed carry license. However, a person may able to lawfully possess and purchased a gun but be prohibited from obtaining a concealed carry license. For example, a person that has a minor drug conviction, such as Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Pennsylvania, is legally permitted to possess and purchase a gun. However, that conviction of the Pennsylvania Drug Code prohibits a person from obtaining a concealed carry license in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Concealed Carry License Eligibility
The issuance of concealed carry licenses in Pennsylvania is controlled by 18 Pa.C.S. 6109. The law contains a long list of prior convictions and other things that prohibit a person from obtaining a concealed carry license, such as:
- prior drug conviction under Pennsylvania law
- conviction of person not to possess a firearm under 18 Pa.C.S. 6105
- person that is addicted to or is an unlawful user of marijuana (people that use medicinal marijuana are not permitted to possess or purchase a gun)
- conviction that was punishable by more than one year in jail
- habitual drunkard
The licensing law requires the sheriff to conduct an investigation and deny a license to any person “whose character and reputation is such that the individual would be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.” This section of the law gives the sheriff the ability to deny issuance of a license based upon things that are not listed, meaning the sheriff gets to determine what types of things make a person “dangerous to public safety.”
After receiving a license application, the sheriff is supposed to make a decision within 45 days and advise the applicant in writing of the decision and the reasons therefore.