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States of Emergency & Carry in PA

With several Pennsylvania Counties under State of Emergency declaration, it’s worth noting an aspect of Pennsylvania law:

§ 6107. Prohibited conduct during emergency.

No person shall carry a firearm, rifle or shotgun 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).

(June 13, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.1024, No.17, eff. 120 days)

Ordinarly you can carry a handgun, SBR or SBS without a License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) in Pennsylvania, provided that you do not conceal it, or have it in your vehicle. Long guns follow the same rules, except you can conceal it (if you can) but it must be unloaded in a vehicle.

The exception to this is Philadelphia, where you need an LTCF to carry any firearm on the public streets, open or concealed. During a declared State of Emergency, those areas affected by the declaration become just like Philadelphia, you need an LTCF even to carry openly.

For a lot of reasons, even if you carry openly, it’s a good idea to have an LTCF. Lots of towns declare States of Emergency for silly reasons, like Chester and a few other cities recently declaring them for high crime. In addition, while the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act has never been constitutionally re-tested, it only exempts you if you have a license from the state in which you reside. That law applies to within 1000 feet of a school.

2 Responses to “States of Emergency & Carry in PA”

  1. Wes says:

    It’s also amused me how during the times you need your gun more than ever are the times the government prohibits you from carrying it.

  2. Wes says:

    also – always. We need an edit button here.

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