Pennsylvania Handgun Permits

Pennsylvania Handgun Permits

According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute §6109, you must have a license to carry a firearm concealed in a vehicle or on/about your person. You must be 21 years old to apply for a handgun permit in Pennsylvania. You must also have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license or state Identification Card. A firearm license is valid for five years from the issue date.

Where Do I Apply for a Handgun Permit in West Chester, PA?

The law requires you to file an application for a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms with the Sheriff’s office in the county of your residence. Therefore, West Chester residents must file the application with the Firearms Licensing Division for the Sheriff of Chester County. The Sheriff has 45 days to complete the required investigation.

What Is Involved in the Sheriff’s Investigation for a Firearm License in West Chester, PA?

According to the code, the Sheriff’s investigation must include:

  • The applicant’s criminal record;
  • Whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime or is under investigation for a crime that is punishment by more than one year in prison;
  • Investigate the applicant’s reputation and character to determine if they are unlikely to act dangerously to the public safety;
  • Determine whether the person is prohibited from possession of a firearm by law; and,
  • Complete a mental health check, juvenile delinquency check, and a criminal background.

If the Sheriff does not find a good reason not to issue the license, they approve the application for a handgun permit. However, by law, specific individuals cannot receive a handgun permit.

Who Cannot Receive a Handgun License in Pennsylvania?

According to the statute, the Sheriff cannot approve a handgun permit for specific individuals. Examples of individuals:

  • A person with a reputation and character that would make the likely to act against public safety;
  • Individuals convicted of certain crimes, including The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act;
  • A person who has ever been committed to a mental institution or is not of sound mind;
  • Someone who is an unlawful user or is addicted to a depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug;
  • A person who is a chronic alcoholic;
  • A person who is in the United States illegally;
  • A resident of another state that does not have a current permit or license or similar document permitting them to carry a firearm issued by their state;
  • Someone who has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces;
  • A fugitive from justice; and,
  • Anyone prohibited from possessing a firearm under United States statutes.

The above list is not inclusive. There could be other reasons why a sheriff denies a handgun permit.

The rules for carrying a handgun are governed by state law. However, local governments have broad powers to enact additional rules for carrying concealed and open firearms. It is crucial that a person learn the handgun laws for the state but also check for additional rules in the city and county where they reside or travel.

Always Carry Your Gun Permit With You When You Are Carrying Your Handgun

Chester County gun laws require that you have your license to carry on you at all times when you have a firearm on your person or in your vehicle. If you are stopped or detained by a police officer and have a gun on your person or in your vehicle, notify the officer of the firearm’s presence. The officer will likely request to see your license to carry a firearm.

If you do not have your permit to carry a handgun, notify the officer. The police officer may search for a carry permit in the system. However, the officer could take you into custody. After the police confirm you have a valid carry permit, they should release you.

You can avoid problems by ensuring you have your carry permit with you whenever you are in Chester County.

What Should I Do if I Am Charged With a Gun Crime in West Chester, PA?

Carrying a gun without a valid license is considered a “wobbler” offense. You can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony. Misdemeanor charges apply when you are eligible to obtain a gun permit but do not do so. You face felony charges if you are someone who is prohibited from obtaining a concealed weapons permit.Regardless of whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony gun charge, it is crucial to have legal representation as quickly as possible to fight back. A conviction could include jail time, fines, and other punishments. Calling a West Chester criminal defense lawyer should be one of the first steps you take after being arrested for gun crimes in Pennsylvania.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Law Firm in West Chester, PA

If you are facing criminal charges and need legal help, contact the West Chester, PA Criminal Defense lawyers at DiCindio Law, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation.

DiCindio Law, LLC
29 S Walnut St
West Chester, PA 19382
(610) 430-3535