What to Know When Buying a Gun

Firearms Purchase South Hills

Before purchasing a gun, it is crucial to understand Pennsylvania gun laws and what requirements there are to ensure you know what is required of you throughout the gun buying process.

How to Buy a Handgun in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, it is relatively simple to qualify for purchasing a handgun. To buy a handgun, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide valid State I.D.
  • Age 21 or older
  • Allow an instant background check to be completed by a licensed firearms dealer

If you are transferring a gun between you and your spouse or you and your parent, you are not required to go to an authorized firearms dealer. If you are selling to or purchasing a gun from a friend, you will need to visit a licensed firearm dealer to complete the transfer.

You cannot own a firearm in Pennsylvania if you:

  • Have been convicted of a violent crime
  • Have been convicted of a controlled substance offense, punishable by more than a two-year sentence.
  • Are a fugitive of justice
  • Have been found mentally incompetent
  • Have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution
  • Are an illegal alien
  • Have a protection from abuse (PFA) court order against you

Requirements for Buying a Long Gun

Unlike handguns, buying a long gun does not require the same transfer or sale records when you transfer or buy a long gun. Requirements for obtaining a long gun include:

    • Be 18 years old
    • Provide valid I.D.
    • Have a background check completed by a licensed firearms dealer

If you privately purchase or sell your long gun to a friend or family member, no background check is required.

Carrying Your Gun

If you plan to carry your gun concealed, you are required to obtain a CCW Permit in Pennsylvania. You can open carry your firearm in Pennsylvania without a license in places such as your home, your place of business or while target shooting as long as the gun is unloaded the ammunition is sperate. Open carrying is prohibited in areas such as:

  • Court Facilities
  • School Property
  • Philadelphia (You can only carry here with a license to carry.)

Gun Safety is Key

As part of your gun purchase, be sure also to purchase a gun safe or gun cabinet where your guns are protected from curious children or burglary. If you only have a handgun, you can buy a handgun safe to save on space and money as you grow your collection.

It is imperative to keep your guns out the hands of others, especially unsupervised children, so be sure to lock them in a safe and consider using trigger locks to avoid accidents.

Contact Federal Firearms today to learn more about our selection of rifles and handguns.

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