§ 6102.  Definitions.

Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent provisions of this subchapter which are applicable to specific provisions of this subchapter, the following words and phrases, when used in this subchapter shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

"Commissioner."  The Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police.

"Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network."  The computer network administered by the Commonwealth and used to record and store digital photographs of an individual's face and any scars, marks, tattoos or other unique features of the individual.

"Conviction."  A conviction, a finding of guilty or the entering of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, whether or not judgment of sentence has been imposed, as determined by the law of the jurisdiction in which the prosecution was held. The term does not include a conviction which has been expunged or overturned or for which an individual has been pardoned unless the pardon expressly provides that the individual may not possess or transport firearms.

"County treasurer."  The county treasurer or, in home rule or optional plan counties, the person whose duties encompass those of a county treasurer.

"Crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year." The term does not include any of the following:

(1)  Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust, unfair trade practices, restraints on trade or regulation of business.

(2)  State offenses classified as misdemeanors and punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed two years.

"Firearm."  Any pistol or revolver with a barrel length less than 15 inches, any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or any rifle with a barrel length less than 16 inches, or any pistol, revolver, rifle or shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches. The barrel length of a firearm shall be determined by measuring from the muzzle of the barrel to the face of the closed action, bolt or cylinder, whichever is applicable.

"Fund."  The Firearm Ownership Fund established in section 6111.3 (relating to Firearm Ownership Fund).

"Law enforcement officer."  Any person employed by any police department or organization of the Commonwealth or political subdivision thereof who is empowered to effect an arrest with or without warrant and who is authorized to carry a firearm in the performance of that person's duties.

"Loaded."  A firearm is loaded if the firing chamber, the nondetachable magazine or, in the case of a revolver, any of the chambers of the cylinder contain ammunition capable of being fired. In the case of a firearm which utilizes a detachable magazine, the term shall mean a magazine suitable for use in said firearm which magazine contains such ammunition and has been inserted in the firearm or is in the same container or, where the container has multiple compartments, the same compartment thereof as the firearm. If the magazine is inserted into a pouch, holder, holster or other protective device that provides for a complete and secure enclosure of the ammunition, then the pouch, holder, holster or other protective device shall be deemed to be a separate compartment.

"Pennsylvania Sheriffs' Association."  The State association of sheriffs authorized by the act of June 14, 1923 (P.L.774, No.305), entitled "An act authorizing the sheriffs of the several counties of this Commonwealth to organize themselves into a State Association, for the purpose of holding annual meetings, to secure more uniformity and cooperation in the conduct of their offices, and providing for the payment of certain expenses in connection with such meetings by the various counties."

"Safekeeping permit."  As defined in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions).


(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the sheriff of the county.

(2)  In a city of the first class, the chief or head of the police department.

"State."  When used in reference to different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and territories and possessions of the United States.


(Dec. 19, 1988, P.L.1275, No.158, eff. 180 days; June 13, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.1024, No.17, eff. 120 days; Nov. 22, 1995, P.L.621, No.66, eff. imd.; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days; June 28, 2011, P.L.48, No.10, eff. 60 days)


2011 Amendment.  Act 10 amended the def. of "loaded." See the preamble to Act 10 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative findings.

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added the defs. of "Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network," "Pennsylvania Sheriffs' Association," "safekeeping permit" and "state."

1995 Amendment.  Act 66 added the defs. of "law enforcement officer" and "loaded."

Cross References.  Section 6102 is referred to in sections 6105.1, 6106.1, 6111, 6111.1, 6113, 6121, 6141.1, 6142 of this title; section 2525 of Title 34 (Game); section 5902 of Title 61 (Prisons and Parole).