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A02926
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
565
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY DUSH, J. WARD, STEFANO, PITTMAN, PHILLIPS-HILL,
YAW, MENSCH, HUTCHINSON, MASTRIANO, LANGERHOLC, SCAVELLO,
ROBINSON, BARTOLOTTA, BROOKS, AUMENT, GEBHARD, DiSANTO,
VOGEL, CORMAN AND REGAN, APRIL 16, 2021
SENATOR K. WARD, RULES AND EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS, RE-REPORTED AS
AMENDED, NOVEMBER 8, 2021
AN ACT
Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in firearms and other dangerous
articles, repealing provisions relating to firearms not to be
carried without a license, providing for license not
required, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR PROHIBITED CONDUCT DURING
EMERGENCY, repealing provisions relating to carrying firearms
on public streets or public property in Philadelphia,
providing for sportsman's firearm permit, further providing
for licenses and repealing provisions relating to proof of
license and exception.
Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses), 23 (Domestic
Relations) and 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in inchoate crimes, further providing for
possession of firearm or other dangerous weapon in court
facility; in firearms and other dangerous articles, further
providing for definitions, for evidence of intent, for
persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or
transfer firearms and for firearms not to be carried without
a license, providing for license not required, further
providing for prohibited conduct during emergency, repealing
provisions relating to carrying firearms on public streets or
public property in Philadelphia, providing for sportsman's
firearm permit, further providing for licenses, providing for
firearm eligibility license, for application for firearm
eligibility license, for fee and qualification, for
investigations and training course and for issuance and terms
and further providing for sale or transfer of firearms, for
Pennsylvania State Police, for loans on, or lending or giving
firearms prohibited, for proof of license and exception and
for administrative regulations; in protection from abuse,
further providing for relief; in hunting and furtaking,
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further providing for cooperation after lawfully killing big
game; and, in protection of property and persons, further
providing for possession of firearm for protection of self or
others.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The laws in existence regulating firearms ownership,
possession and use LICENSING are ineffectual in preventing
crime and only interfere with the natural rights of law-
abiding citizens.
(2) It is necessary to codify the inherent right to the
carrying of firearms, whether openly or concealed, and that
the right to self-defense is an inherent natural right that
shall not be questioned as stated in section 21 of Article I
of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 6106 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is repealed:
[§ 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
(a) Offense defined.--
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who
carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a
firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place
of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and
lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony
of the third degree.
(2) A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a
valid license under this chapter but carries a firearm in any
vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or
about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place
of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license and
has not committed any other criminal violation commits a
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misdemeanor of the first degree.
(b) Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not
apply to:
(1) Constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or
their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its
political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers.
(2) Members of the army, navy, marine corps, air force
or coast guard of the United States or of the National Guard
or organized reserves when on duty.
(3) The regularly enrolled members of any organization
duly organized to purchase or receive such firearms from the
United States or from this Commonwealth.
(4) Any persons engaged in target shooting with a
firearm, if such persons are at or are going to or from their
places of assembly or target practice and if, while going to
or from their places of assembly or target practice, the
firearm is not loaded.
(5) Officers or employees of the United States duly
authorized to carry a concealed firearm.
(6) Agents, messengers and other employees of common
carriers, banks, or business firms, whose duties require them
to protect moneys, valuables and other property in the
discharge of such duties.
(7) Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing,
repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or
representative of any such person, having in his possession,
using or carrying a firearm in the usual or ordinary course
of such business.
(8) Any person while carrying a firearm which is not
loaded and is in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase
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to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair,
sale or appraisal or back to his home or place of business,
or in moving from one place of abode or business to another
or from his home to a vacation or recreational home or
dwelling or back, or to recover stolen property under section
6111.1(b)(4) (relating to Pennsylvania State Police), or to a
place of instruction intended to teach the safe handling, use
or maintenance of firearms or back or to a location to which
the person has been directed to relinquish firearms under 23
Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) or back upon return of
the relinquished firearm or to a licensed dealer's place of
business for relinquishment pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.2
(relating to relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful
transfer or safekeeping) or back upon return of the
relinquished firearm or to a location for safekeeping
pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment
to third party for safekeeping) or back upon return of the
relinquished firearm.
(9) Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in
this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting,
taking furbearers or fishing as permitted by such license, or
are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take
furbearers or fish or returning from such places.
(10) Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually
training dogs during the regular training season.
(11) Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle,
which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license
for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the
United States or any other state.
(12) A person who has a lawfully issued license to carry
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a firearm pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) and
that said license expired within six months prior to the date
of arrest and that the individual is otherwise eligible for
renewal of the license.
(13) Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a
firearm under this chapter and who is operating a motor
vehicle which is registered in the person's name or the name
of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which
a valid license has been issued pursuant to section 6109 to
the spouse or parent owning the firearm.
(14) A person lawfully engaged in the interstate
transportation of a firearm as defined under 18 U.S.C. §
921(a)(3) (relating to definitions) in compliance with 18
U.S.C. § 926A (relating to interstate transportation of
firearms).
(15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully
issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been
issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether
a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and
the state under section 6109(k), provided:
(i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for
individuals licensed to carry firearms under section
6109.
(ii) The Attorney General has determined that the
firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws
of this Commonwealth.
(16) Any person holding a license in accordance with
section 6109(f)(3).
(c) Sportsman's firearm permit.--
(1) Before any exception shall be granted under
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paragraph (b)(9) or (10) of this section to any person 18
years of age or older licensed to hunt, trap or fish or who
has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs, such
person shall, at the time of securing his hunting, furtaking
or fishing license or any time after such license has been
issued, secure a sportsman's firearm permit from the county
treasurer. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be issued
immediately and be valid throughout this Commonwealth for a
period of five years from the date of issue for any legal
firearm, when carried in conjunction with a valid hunting,
furtaking or fishing license or permit relating to hunting
dogs. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be in triplicate
on a form to be furnished by the Pennsylvania State Police.
The original permit shall be delivered to the person, and the
first copy thereof, within seven days, shall be forwarded to
the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police by the
county treasurer. The second copy shall be retained by the
county treasurer for a period of two years from the date of
expiration. The county treasurer shall be entitled to collect
a fee of not more than $6 for each such permit issued, which
shall include the cost of any official form. The Pennsylvania
State Police may recover from the county treasurer the cost
of any such form, but may not charge more than $1 for each
official permit form furnished to the county treasurer.
(2) Any person who sells or attempts to sell a
sportsman's firearm permit for a fee in excess of that amount
fixed under this subsection commits a summary offense.
(d) Revocation of registration.--Any registration of a
firearm under subsection (c) of this section may be revoked by
the county treasurer who issued it, upon written notice to the
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holder thereof.
(e) Definitions.--
(1) For purposes of subsection (b)(3), (4), (5), (7) and
(8), the term "firearm" shall include any weapon which is
designed to or may readily be converted to expel any
projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or
receiver of the weapon.
(2) As used in this section, the phrase "place of
instruction" shall include any hunting club, rifle club,
rifle range, pistol range, shooting range, the premises of a
licensed firearms dealer or a lawful gun show or meet.]
Section 1. Section 913(b)(3) of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
§ 913. Possession of firearm or other dangerous weapon in court
facility.
* * *
(b) Grading.--
* * *
(3) An offense under subsection (a)(1) is a summary
offense if the person was carrying a firearm under section
6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a
license) or 6109 (relating to [licenses] license to carry)
and failed to check the firearm under subsection (e) prior to
entering the court facility.
* * *
Section 2. Section 6102 of Title 18 is amended by adding
definitions to read:
§ 6102. Definitions.
Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
provisions of this subchapter which are applicable to specific
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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:
* * *
"Firearm eligibility license." A license issued by the
commissioner that authorizes a person to purchase a firearm.
* * *
"Qualified firearm instructor." A certified firearms
instructor who is recognized by the Pennsylvania State Police
and has one of the following:
(1) A valid qualified firearm instructor license issued
by the commissioner.
(2) A certificate issued by a nationally recognized
firearms organization.
* * *
Section 3. Sections 6104, 6105(h) and 6106(a) of Title 18
are amended to read:
§ 6104. Evidence of intent.
In the trial of a person for committing or attempting to
commit a crime enumerated in section 6105 (relating to persons
not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer
firearms), the fact that that person was armed with a firearm,
used or attempted to be used, and had no license to possess or
carry the same, shall be evidence of that person's intention to
commit the offense.
§ 6105. Persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell
or transfer firearms.
* * *
(h) License prohibition.--Any person who is prohibited from
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possessing, using, controlling, selling, purchasing,
transferring or manufacturing any firearm under this section
shall not be eligible for or permitted to obtain a license to
carry a firearm under section 6109 (relating to [licenses]
license to carry).
* * *
§ 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
(a) Offense defined.--
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who
carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a
firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place
of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and
lawfully issued license [under this chapter] to carry under
section 6109 (relating to license to carry) commits a felony
of the third degree.
(2) A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a
valid license [under this chapter] to carry under section
6109 but carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who
carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in
his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a
valid and lawfully issued license to carry and has not
committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor
of the first degree.
* * *
Section 2 4. Title 18 is amended by adding a section to
read:
§ 6106.2. License not required.
(a) Declaration.--Notwithstanding any other provision of
law, every person present in this Commonwealth WHO IS NOT
PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING FIREARMS UNDER FEDERAL LAW OR THE
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LAWS OF THIS COMMONWEALTH shall have an affirmative, fundamental
and constitutional right to keep and bear firearms, including
the right to carry openly or concealed, carry loaded or
unloaded, train with, transport, possess, use, acquire,
purchase, transfer, inherit, buy, sell, give or otherwise
dispose of or receive any firearm or self-defense device without
a license , permission or restriction TO CARRY A FIREARM of any
kind from or by this Commonwealth or any of its political
subdivisions.
(b) Optional license.--Obtaining a license to carry a
firearm under this chapter shall be optional. The voluntary
nature of the license shall not be construed to require that any
person obtain a license to carry a firearm under this chapter.
SECTION 2.1. SECTION 6107 OF TITLE 18 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA
CONSOLIDATED STATUTES IS AMENDED TO READ:
Section 5. Section 6107 of Title 18 is amended to read:
§ 6107. PROHIBITED CONDUCT DURING EMERGENCY.
[(A) GENERAL RULE.--NO PERSON SHALL CARRY A FIREARM UPON THE
PUBLIC STREETS OR UPON ANY PUBLIC PROPERTY DURING AN EMERGENCY
PROCLAIMED BY A STATE OR MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTAL EXECUTIVE UNLESS
THAT PERSON IS:
(1) ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN A DEFENSE OF THAT PERSON'S LIFE
OR PROPERTY FROM PERIL OR THREAT.
(2) LICENSED TO CARRY FIREARMS UNDER SECTION 6109
(RELATING TO LICENSES) OR IS EXEMPT FROM LICENSING UNDER
SECTION 6106(B) (RELATING TO FIREARMS NOT TO BE CARRIED
WITHOUT A LICENSE).]
(B) SEIZURE, TAKING AND CONFISCATION.--[EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE
PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (A) AND NOTWITHSTANDING]
NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF 35 PA.C.S. CH. 73 (RELATING TO
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COMMONWEALTH SERVICES) OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE
CONTRARY, NO FIREARM, ACCESSORY OR AMMUNITION MAY BE SEIZED,
TAKEN OR CONFISCATED DURING AN EMERGENCY UNLESS THE SEIZURE,
TAKING OR CONFISCATION WOULD BE AUTHORIZED ABSENT THE EMERGENCY.
(C) DEFINITIONS.--AS USED IN THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING
WORDS AND PHRASES SHALL HAVE THE MEANINGS GIVEN TO THEM IN THIS
SUBSECTION:
"ACCESSORY." ANY SCOPE, SIGHT, BIPOD, SLING, LIGHT,
MAGAZINE, CLIP OR OTHER RELATED ITEM THAT IS ATTACHED TO OR
NECESSARY FOR THE OPERATION OF A FIREARM.
"FIREARM." THE TERM INCLUDES ANY WEAPON THAT IS DESIGNED TO
OR MAY READILY BE CONVERTED TO EXPEL ANY PROJECTILE BY THE
ACTION OF AN EXPLOSIVE OR THE FRAME OR RECEIVER OF ANY WEAPON.
Section 3 6. Section 6108 of Title 18 is repealed:
[§ 6108. Carrying firearms on public streets or public property
in Philadelphia.
No person shall carry a firearm, rifle or shotgun at any time
upon the public streets or upon any public property in a city of
the first class unless:
(1) such person is licensed to carry a firearm; or
(2) such person is exempt from licensing under section
6106(b) of this title (relating to firearms not to be carried
without a license).]
Section 4 7. Title 18 is amended by adding a section to
read:
§ 6108.1. Sportsman's firearm permit.
(a) Permit allowed.--Any person 18 years of age or older who
has been issued a hunting license, trapping license or fishing
license or who has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs
may, at the time of obtaining his hunting, trapping or fishing
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license or any time after the license has been issued, obtain a
sportsman's firearm permit from the county treasurer.
(b) Issuance.--The sportsman's firearm permit shall be
issued immediately and shall be valid throughout this
Commonwealth for a period of five years from the date of issue
for any legal firearm when carried in conjunction with a valid
hunting, furtaking or fishing license or permit relating to
hunting dogs.
(c) Form.--The sportsman's firearm permit shall be in
triplicate on a form to be furnished by the Pennsylvania State
Police. The original permit shall be delivered to the person,
and a copy of the permit shall be forwarded to the Commissioner
of Pennsylvania State Police by the county treasurer within
seven days of the date of delivery. A copy of the permit shall
be retained by the county treasurer for a period of two years
from the date of expiration.
(d) Fee.--The county treasurer may collect a fee of not more
than $6 for each permit issued, which shall include the cost of
any official form. The Pennsylvania State Police may recover
from the county treasurer the cost of the form, but may not
charge more than $1 for each official permit form furnished to
the county treasurer.
(e) Offense.--A person who sells or attempts to sell a
sportsman's firearm permit for a fee in excess of the amount
determined under this section commits a summary offense.
Section 5. Section 6109(a), (b), (c), (d) heading,
introductory paragraph, (3), (4) and (5), (e)(1) introductory
paragraph, (i), (v) and (vii), (3) introductory paragraph and
(ii) and (4), (f)(2) and (4), (g), (h)(3) and (4), (i.1) heading
and (1), (j) and (m.1)(1) introductory paragraph and (ii), (2),
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(3), (4), (7) and (9) of Title 18 are amended to read:
Section 8. Section 6109 heading and (a), (b), (c), (d)
heading, introductory paragraph, (3), (4) and (5), (e)(1)
introductory paragraph, (i), (v) and (vii), (3) introductory
paragraph and (ii) and (4), (f)(2) and (4), (g), (h)(3) and (4),
(i.1) heading and (1), (j) and (m.1)(1) introductory paragraph
and (ii), (2), (3), (4), (7) and (9) of Title 18 are amended,
subsection (d) is amended by adding a paragraph and subsection
(e)(1) and (3) are amended by adding subparagraphs to read:
§ 6109. [Licenses] License to carry.
(a) Purpose of license.--[A license to carry a firearm shall
be for the purpose of carrying a firearm concealed on or about
one's person or in a vehicle throughout this Commonwealth.]
(1) Due to every PERSON PRESENT IN THIS Commonwealth
resident having a fundamental constitutional right to keep
and bear arms, obtaining a license under this section shall
be optional. Nothing in this section shall be construed to
require that a person must obtain a license under this
section in order to carry a concealed firearm.
(2) The voluntary nature of a license to carry a firearm
may not be construed to relieve the issuing authority of the
burden of proof for denying an application for a license.
Issuance of a license to carry a firearm under this section
by the proper authority shall be prima facie evidence that
law enforcement authorities have verified that the individual
is qualified under the law and is not prohibited from
possessing firearms under section 6105 (relating to persons
not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer
firearms) or under any other provision of the laws of this
Commonwealth.
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(3) A license to carry a firearm shall be available to
those who wish to carry a firearm openly or concealed on or
about one's person or in a vehicle and shall be valid
throughout this Commonwealth.
(4) A license to carry a firearm shall provide residents
of this Commonwealth A PERSON with the ability to carry a
firearm in any state with which the Commonwealth maintains a
reciprocal agreement for the mutual recognition of licenses
to carry firearms.
(b) Place of application.--An individual [who is 21 years of
age or older] may apply to [a sheriff] the proper issuing
authority for a license to carry a firearm [concealed on or
about his person or in a vehicle] within this Commonwealth. If
the applicant is a resident of this Commonwealth, he shall make
application with the sheriff of the county in which he resides
or, if a resident of a city of the first class, with the chief
of police of that city. If the applicant is not a resident of
this Commonwealth, he shall make application with the sheriff
PROPER ISSUING AUTHORITY of any county.
(c) Form of application and content.--The application and
process for a license to carry a firearm shall be uniform
throughout this Commonwealth and shall be on a form prescribed
by the Pennsylvania State Police. The form may contain
provisions, not exceeding one page, to assure compliance with
this section. Issuing authorities shall use only the application
form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police. One of the
following reasons for obtaining a firearm license shall be set
forth in the application: self-defense, employment, hunting and
fishing, target shooting, gun collecting or another proper
reason. The application form shall be dated and signed by the
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applicant and shall contain the following statement:
I am the holder of a valid firearm eligibility license.
I have never been convicted of a crime that prohibits me
from possessing or acquiring a firearm under Federal or
State law. I am of sound mind and have never been
involuntarily committed to a mental institution. In the
alternative my right to possess a firearm has been
legally restored. I hereby certify that the statements
contained herein are true and correct to the best of my
knowledge and belief. I understand that, if I knowingly
make any false statements herein, I am subject to
penalties prescribed by law. I authorize the [sheriff, or
his designee, or, in the case of first class cities, the
chief or head of the police department] issuing
authority, or his designee, to inspect only those records
or documents relevant to information required for this
application. If I am issued a license and knowingly
become ineligible to legally possess or acquire firearms,
I will promptly notify the [sheriff of the county in
which I reside or, if I reside in a city of the first
class, the chief of police of that city] issuing
authority.
(d) [Sheriff to conduct] Pre-issuance investigation.--The
[sheriff] issuing authority to whom the application is made
shall:
* * *
[(3) investigate whether the applicant's character and
reputation are such that the applicant will not be likely to
act in a manner dangerous to public safety;]
(4) investigate whether the applicant would be precluded
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from receiving a license under subsection (e)(1) or section
6105(h) [(relating to persons not to possess, use,
manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms)]; and];
(5) conduct a criminal background, juvenile delinquency
and mental health check [following the procedures set forth
in section 6111 (relating to sale or transfer of firearms),
receive] by contacting the National Instant Criminal
Background Check System and must have received a unique
approval number for that inquiry and record the date and
number on the application[.]; and
(6) confirm with the Pennsylvania State Police that the
applicant holds a valid firearm eligibility license.
(e) Issuance of license.--
(1) A license to carry a firearm shall be [for the
purpose of carrying a firearm concealed on or about one's
person or in a vehicle and shall be issued if,] issued after
an investigation not to exceed [45] 14 calendar days, [it
appears that the applicant is an individual concerning whom
no] unless good cause exists to deny the license. A license
shall not be issued to any of the following:
[(i) An individual whose character and reputation is
such that the individual would be likely to act in a
manner dangerous to public safety.]
* * *
(v) An individual who is not of sound mind or who
has ever been involuntarily committed to a mental
institution[.], unless the involuntary commitment has
been expunged, vacated or granted relief from a
prohibition to possess a firearm.
* * *
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[(vii) An individual who is a habitual drunkard.]
* * *
(xv) An individual who does not possess a valid
firearm eligibility license under section 6109.1
(relating to firearm eligibility license).
(3) The license to carry a firearm shall be designed to
be uniform throughout this Commonwealth and shall be in a
form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police. The license
shall bear the following:
* * *
(ii) The signature of the [sheriff] authority
issuing the license.
* * *
(vii) The number of the licensee's firearm
eligibility license.
(4) The [sheriff] issuing authority shall require a
photograph of the licensee on the license. The photograph
shall be in a form compatible with the Commonwealth Photo
Imaging Network.
* * *
(f) Term of license.--
* * *
(2) At least 60 days prior to the expiration of each
license, the issuing [sheriff] authority shall send to the
licensee an application for renewal of license. Failure to
receive a renewal application shall not relieve a licensee
from the responsibility to renew the license.
* * *
[(4) Possession of a license, together with a copy of
the person's military orders showing the dates of overseas
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deployment, including the date that the overseas deployment
ends, shall constitute, during the extension period specified
in paragraph (3), a defense to any charge filed pursuant to
section 6106 (relating to firearms not to be carried without
a license) or 6108 (relating to carrying firearms on public
streets or public property in Philadelphia).]
(g) Grant or denial of license.--Upon the receipt of an
application for a license to carry a firearm, the [sheriff]
issuing authority shall, within [45] 14 calendar days, issue or
refuse to issue a license on the basis of the investigation
under subsection (d) and the accuracy of the information
contained in the application. If the [sheriff] issuing authority
refuses to issue a license, the [sheriff] issuing authority
shall notify the applicant in writing of the refusal and the
specific reasons. The notice shall be sent by certified mail to
the applicant at the address set forth in the application.
(h) Fee.--
* * *
(3) An additional fee of $1 shall be paid by the
applicant for a license to carry a firearm and shall be
remitted by the [sheriff] issuing authority to the Firearms
License Validation System Account, which is hereby
established as a special restricted receipt account within
the General Fund of the State Treasury. The account shall be
used for purposes under subsection (l). Moneys credited to
the account and any investment income accrued are hereby
appropriated on a continuing basis to the Pennsylvania State
Police.
(4) No fee other than that provided by this subsection
or the Sheriff Fee Act may be assessed by the [sheriff]
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issuing authority for the performance of any background check
made pursuant to this act.
* * *
(i.1) Notice to [sheriff] issuing authority.--
Notwithstanding any statute to the contrary:
(1) Upon conviction of a person for a crime specified in
section 6105(a) or (b) or upon conviction of a person for a
crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year or upon a
determination that the conduct of a person meets the criteria
specified in section 6105(c)(1), (2), (3), (5), (6) or (9),
the court shall determine if the defendant has a license to
carry firearms issued pursuant to this section. If the
defendant has such a license, the court shall notify the
[sheriff of the county in which that person resides] issuing
authority, on a form developed by the Pennsylvania State
Police, of the identity of the person and the nature of the
crime or conduct which resulted in the notification. The
notification shall be transmitted by the judge within seven
days of the conviction or determination.
* * *
(j) Immunity.--[A sheriff] An issuing authority who complies
in good faith with this section shall be immune from liability
resulting or arising from the action or misconduct with a
firearm committed by any individual to whom a license to carry a
firearm has been issued.
* * *
(m.1) Temporary emergency licenses.--
(1) A person seeking a temporary emergency license to
carry a concealed firearm shall submit to the [sheriff]
issuing authority of the county in which the person resides
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all of the following:
* * *
(ii) A sworn affidavit that contains the information
required on an application for a license to carry a
firearm and attesting that the person is 21 years of age
or older, is not prohibited from owning firearms under
section 6105 [(relating to persons not to possess, use,
manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms)] or any
other Federal or State law and is not currently subject
to a protection from abuse order or a protection order
issued by a court of another state.
* * *
(2) Upon receipt of the items required under paragraph
(1), the [sheriff] issuing authority immediately shall
conduct a criminal history, juvenile delinquency and mental
health record check of the applicant pursuant to section
6105. Immediately upon receipt of the results of the records
check, the [sheriff] issuing authority shall review the
information and shall determine whether the applicant meets
the criteria set forth in this subsection. If the [sheriff]
issuing authority determines that the applicant has met all
of the criteria, the [sheriff] issuing authority shall
immediately issue the applicant a temporary emergency license
to carry a concealed firearm.
(3) If the [sheriff] issuing authority refuses to issue
a temporary emergency license, the [sheriff] issuing
authority shall specify the grounds for the denial in a
written notice to the applicant. The applicant may appeal the
denial or challenge criminal records check results that were
the basis of the denial, if applicable, in the same manner as
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a denial of a license to carry a firearm under this section.
(4) A temporary emergency license issued under this
subsection shall be valid for [45] 14 days and may not be
renewed. A person who has been issued a temporary emergency
license under this subsection shall not be issued another
temporary emergency license unless at least five years have
expired since the issuance of the prior temporary emergency
license. During the [45] 14 days the temporary emergency
license is valid, the [sheriff] issuing authority shall
conduct an additional investigation of the person for the
purposes of determining whether the person may be issued a
license pursuant to this section. If, during the course of
this investigation, the [sheriff] issuing authority discovers
any information that would have prohibited the issuance of a
license pursuant to this section, the [sheriff] issuing
authority shall be authorized to revoke the temporary
emergency license as provided in subsection (i).
* * *
(7) [A sheriff] An issuing authority who issues a
temporary emergency license to carry a firearm shall retain,
for the entire period during which the temporary emergency
license is in effect, the evidence of imminent danger that
the applicant submitted to the [sheriff] issuing authority
that was the basis for the license, or a copy of the
evidence, as appropriate.
* * *
(9) Prior to the expiration of a temporary emergency
license, if the [sheriff] issuing authority has determined
pursuant to investigation that the person issued a temporary
emergency license is not disqualified and if the temporary
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emergency license has not been revoked pursuant to subsection
(i), the [sheriff] issuing authority shall issue a license
pursuant to this section that is effective for the balance of
the five-year period from the date of the issuance of the
temporary emergency license. Records and all other
information, duties and obligations regarding such licenses
shall be applicable as otherwise provided in this section.
* * *
Section 6. Section 6122 of Title 18 is repealed:
[§ 6122. Proof of license and exception.
(a) General rule.--When carrying a firearm concealed on or
about one's person or in a vehicle, an individual licensed to
carry a firearm shall, upon lawful demand of a law enforcement
officer, produce the license for inspection. Failure to produce
such license either at the time of arrest or at the preliminary
hearing shall create a rebuttable presumption of nonlicensure.
(b) Exception.--An individual carrying a firearm on or about
his person or in a vehicle and claiming an exception under
section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without
a license) shall, upon lawful demand of a law enforcement
officer, produce satisfactory evidence of qualification for
exception.]
Section 7. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
Section 9. Title 18 is amended by adding sections to read:
§ 6109.1. Firearm eligibility license.
(a) Required.--Except as provided in subsection (b), a
firearm eligibility license shall be required to own or possess
a firearm within this Commonwealth.
(b) Exception.--Subsection (a) may not apply to any of the
following:
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(1) A licensed firearms manufacturer.
(2) A dealer licensed under section 6113 (relating to
licensing of dealers).
(3) A law enforcement officer or person who is retired
in good standing from service with a law enforcement agency
of the United States, this Commonwealth or a local law
enforcement agency of this Commonwealth.
(4) A member or retired member of the armed forces of
the United States or the Pennsylvania National Guard.
(5) A person purchasing an antique firearm as defined in
section 6118 (relating to antique firearms) or reproductions
or replicas of firearms if the antique firearm, reproduction
or replica is not suitable for use.
§ 6109.2. Application for firearm eligibility license.
(a) Place of application.--An individual may apply to an
issuing authority for a firearm eligibility license. If the
applicant is a resident of this Commonwealth, the applicant must
apply with the sheriff of the county in which the applicant
resides. If the applicant lives in a city of the first class,
the applicant must apply with the chief of police of the city.
(b) Form of application and content.--The application for a
firearm eligibility license shall be uniform across this
Commonwealth and shall be on a form prescribed by the
Pennsylvania State Police. Each application shall be signed and
dated by the applicant. The form may contain provisions, not
exceeding one page, to assure compliance with this section.
Issuing authorities shall use only the application form
prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police. The application
shall contain the following statement:
I have never been convicted of a crime that prohibits me
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from possessing or acquiring a firearm under Federal or
State law. I am of sound mind and have never been
committed to a mental institution. I hereby certify that
the statements contained herein are true and correct to
the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand that,
if I knowingly make any false statement herein, I am
subject to penalties prescribed by law. I authorize the
sheriff or the sheriff's designee, or the chief of the
police department or the chief's designee, to inspect
only those records or documents relevant to the
information required for this application. If I am issued
a license and knowingly become ineligible to legally
possess or acquire firearms, I will promptly notify the
sheriff of the county in which I reside or, if I reside
in a city of the first class, the chief of police of that
city.
§ 6109.3. Fee and qualification.
(a) Firearm eligibility license fee.--
(1) The fees for a firearm eligibility license are as
follows:
(i) Fifty dollars for the original license.
(ii) Thirty dollars for a license renewal which
includes the following:
(A) A renewal processing fee of $1.50.
(B) An administrative fee of $5 under section
14(2) of the act of July 6, 1984 (P.L.614, No.127),
known as the Sheriff Fee Act.
(C) An administrative fee of $2 for the costs of
completing the background investigation under section
6109.2(b) (relating to application for firearm
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eligibility license). This fee shall be deposited
into the Firearms Instant Records Check Fund under
section 6111.2 (relating to firearms sales
surcharge).
(2) All license fees remaining after the deduction under
paragraph (1) shall be deposited in the General Fund.
(3) No fee other than under this section or the Sheriff
Fee Act may be assessed by the issuing authority for the cost
of a background check performed in the process of issuing a
firearm eligibility license.
(b) Qualifications for license.--The issuing authority shall
issue a firearm eligibility license to an applicant who meets
the following criteria:
(1) Is at least 18 years of age.
(2) Is a resident of this Commonwealth.
(3) Within three years prior to the submission of the
application, demonstrates satisfactory completion of a
certified firearms training course approved by the
commissioner that includes all the following:
(i) A minimum of 16 hours of instruction by a
qualified firearm instructor.
(ii) Classroom instruction on all the following:
(A) Commonwealth firearm law.
(B) Home firearm safety.
(C) Firearm mechanisms and operations.
(iii) A firearms orientation component that
demonstrates the person's safe operation, handling and
use of a firearm.
(4) Is not prohibited by Federal or State law from
purchasing or possessing a firearm. For purposes of
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determining this, the following shall apply:
(i) The applicant shall provide a full set of
fingerprints to the Pennsylvania State Police.
(ii) The Pennsylvania State Police shall submit the
fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to
verify the identity of the applicant and obtain a current
record of criminal arrests and convictions.
§ 6109.4. Investigations and training course.
(a) Firearms training course.--The commissioner has the
following powers and duties:
(1) To promulgate guidelines setting forth the
requirements to become a qualified firearm instructor in this
Commonwealth.
(2) To designate any program as a certified firearm
training course if the program meets the minimum requirements
established by the commissioner.
(b) Waiver of training course.--An applicant for a firearm
eligibility license is not required to complete a firearm safety
training course under subsection (a) if the applicant is any of
the following:
(1) A qualified firearm instructor.
(2) A member or honorably discharged member of the armed
forces of the United States or the National Guard.
(3) A police officer, as defined in 53 Pa.C.S. § 2162
(relating to definitions) who is certified under 53 Pa.C.S.
Ch. 21 Subch. D (relating to municipal police education and
training). The term includes a school police officer
appointed under section 1302-C of the act of March 10, 1949
(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949.
(4) An active or retired Federal or State law
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enforcement officer.
(5) Certified under 61 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to
county probation officers' firearm education and training).
(6) A Commonwealth or county corrections officer or
probation or parole agent.
(7) A county sheriff, deputy sheriff or constable.
(8) The lawful owner of a firearm prior to the effective
date of this subsection.
(c) Conduct of investigation.--The issuing authority to whom
the application is made shall:
(1) Investigate the applicant's record of criminal
conviction.
(2) Review the applicant's completed Federal criminal
history check.
(3) Investigate whether the applicant would be precluded
from or is prohibited from possessing, using, controlling,
selling, purchasing, transferring or manufacturing a firearm
under section 6105 (relating to persons not to possess, use,
manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms).
(4) Conduct a criminal background, juvenile delinquency
and mental health check following the procedures specified in
section 6111 (relating to sale or transfer of firearms),
receive a unique approval number for that inquiry and record
the date and number on the application.
(d) Notice to issuing authority.--Notwithstanding any other
law, a court, mental health review officer or county
administrator for mental health and intellectual disability
services shall notify the issuing authority of the county or
city in which an individual holds a firearm eligibility license
on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police within
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seven days of the individual's conviction or adjudication or
upon determination of any of the following:
(1) A crime specified in section 6105(a) or (b).
(2) A crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one
year.
(3) Conduct that meets the criteria of section 6105(c)
(1), (2), (3), (5), (6) or (9).
(4) Incompetency.
(5) Involuntary commitment to a mental institution for
inpatient care and treatment under the act of July 9, 1976
(P.L.817, No.143), known as the Mental Health Procedures Act.
(6) Involuntary treatment for an individual meeting the
criteria of section 6105(c)(4).
(e) Immunity.--An issuing authority which complies in good
faith with this section shall be immune from liability resulting
or arising from the action of misconduct with a firearm
committed by an individual who was issued a firearm eligibility
license.
(f) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "issuing
authority" shall mean a county sheriff or chief of police of a
city of the the first class.
§ 6109.5. Issuance and terms.
(a) Issuance of license.--
(1) If the applicant meets the requirements of this
section, a firearm eligibility license shall be issued. A
license shall not be issued to an individual who is
prohibited from possessing, using, controlling, selling,
purchasing, transferring or manufacturing a firearm under
section 6105 (relating to persons not to possess, use,
manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms) or under any
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other Federal or State law.
(2) The firearm eligibility license shall be designed to
be uniform throughout this Commonwealth and shall be in a
form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police. The license
shall bear the following:
(i) The name, address, date of birth, race, sex,
citizenship, height, weight, color of hair, color of eyes
and signature of the licensee.
(ii) The signature of the issuing authority.
(iii) A license number of which the first two
numbers shall be a county location code. The remaining
numbers shall be issued in numerical sequence.
(iv) The period of validation.
(3) The firearm eligibility license shall include a
photograph of the licensee. The photograph shall be in a form
compatible with the Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network.
(4) The original firearm eligibility license shall be
issued to the applicant. The first copy of the license shall
be forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Police within seven
days of the date of issuance. The second copy shall be
retained by the issuing authority for a period of seven
years. Except under a court order, both copies and the
application shall, at the end of the seven-year period, be
destroyed unless the license has been renewed.
(b) Grant or denial of license.--Upon receipt of an
application for a firearm eligibility license, the issuing
authority shall issue or refuse to issue within 30 days a
license on the basis of the investigation under subsection (d)
and the accuracy of the information contained in the
application. If the issuing authority refuses to issue a
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license, the issuing authority shall notify the applicant in