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:

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.