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Uniform Firearms Act: Act 68 – Firearms in Vehicles

This latest in my series on the history of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act comes to us from Dec. 7, 1989, P.L.607, No.68, or Act 68 of 1989. This act is what made it a crime to carry a rifle or a shotgun in a vehicle:

§ 6106.1. Carrying loaded weapons other than firearms.

(a) General rule.–No person shall carry a loaded pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle, other than a firearm as defined in section 6102 (relating to definitions), in any vehicle. The provisions of this subsection SECTION shall not apply to persons excepted from the requirement of a license to carry firearms under section 6106(b)(1), (2), (5) or (6) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license) NOR SHALL THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION BE CONSTRUED TO PERMIT PERSONS TO CARRY FIREARMS IN A VEHICLE WHERE SUCH CONDUCT IS PROHIBITED BY SECTION 6106.

(b) Penalty.–A person who violates the provisions of this section commits a summary offense.

This is where Pennsylvania law starts to get a bit screwy. A firearm is defined in the UFA as any pistol, revolver, or rifle with a barrel less than 16″ in length, or a shotgun less than 18″ in length, or with an overall length less than 26″ in length. Anything within that can be carried loaded in a vehicle if you have a license to carry firearms, which by this time was issued on a shall issue basis, except for in Philadelphia. Anything outside of that definition, may not be carried loaded in a vehicle, even if you have a license. The exceptions are only for police, military and a few others.

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