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How To Get A Pennsylvania License To Carry Firearms

Pennsylvania is a “shall issue state”. This means that any law abiding citizen and resident of Pennsylvania who has a clean criminal record can apply for a concealed carry firearms permit for self defense and be issued one for a term of five (5) years.

Unlike with many other states, such as Florida, Virginia, Utah, Texas, Ohio, etc., you are not required to take and pass a firearm or handgun safety course to get a Pennsylvania License To Carry Firearms. However, it is a good idea, and good common sense, to take an appropriate, formal, firearm or handgun safety course given by an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor if you are purchasing a gun for self defense or applying for a firearms carry permit, for your own safety and everyone else’s safety and well being.

You’ll want to learn the “rules of the road” just as when you take Drivers Education before applying for a Drivers License. Owning a firearm is your right if you are a law abiding citizen with a clean criminal record. However, it is negligent to buy a gun for personal protection/self defense and not take proper training on how to use it, operate it, shoot it, maintain it, store it, and the laws about the use of deadly force.

At Personal Defense Solutions, we offer handgun safety and concealed carry classes to individuals and groups. If you are a Pennsylvania or Philadelphia resident thinking about making application for a Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Firearms Permit, consider contacting us for information about getting proper training. Get the training that you need to prevent avoidable firearms related accidents due to negligence and/or ignorance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HANDGUN SAFETY TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION in the Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Delaware County areas, call to speak with Dr. Eimer at: 215-938-7283 (938-SAVE). Or, contact Dr. Eimer by email here.

All firearms are dangerous and must be treated accordingly. Knowledge is power and can prevent tragedy. It is true that guns save lives, but only in the hands of proficient and knowledgeable firearm owners. In addition, shooting at the range can become a worthwhile and fun hobby, but you need to get competent instruction in order to stay safe and not jeopardize the safety of others.

The “Four Universal Rules of Firearm Safety” are listed below. However, please recognize that you need to take proper training by an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor in order to adequately understand them and apply them intelligently.


  1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded. Many avoidable tragedies are the result of careless handling of guns that were assumed to be UNLOADED.
  2. Never point any firearm at anything you do not intend to destroy. Never horse around with firearms
  3. Whenever you pick up and handle any firearm, always keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard unless your sights are on a legitimate target AND you have made the decision to begin shooting at that target.
  4. Before you shoot at a target, make sure you know your target and that it is safe to shoot at it. Never shoot at a target you are unsure of and have not identified as a legitimate target. Make sure you know what is around your target so that the bullets from your firearm do not strike anything or anybody unintended.

The procedure to get a Pennsylvania License To Carry Firearms, depending on the county in which you live, is either (a) to go to your township’s or city’s chief of police office and obtain an application, or (b) to go to your county sheriff’s office to obtain an application. The items you will need will include:

  1. Your PA Driver’s License.
  2. Your completed Application For A Pennsylvania License To Carry Firearms
  3. Your approved Police Check Card signed by your local police.
  4. If you are foreign born, you must bring proof of citizenship.
  5. Cash, check or money order in the amount of $25.00.

If you live in Philadelphia, you must go to Gun Permits & Tracking Unit, 990 Spring Garden Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM to pick up the required forms. You can reach their website by clicking here. You can also click this link to download the forms from their website.

When you apply for a Pennsylvania License To Carry Firearms, you will need to provide two character references.

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