If you are planning a trip to the Erie, Pennsylvania, area later this year for hunting or any other pursuit, you should familiarize yourself with the applicable state laws about weapons. For example, the guidelines for concealed weapons may differ from those in your home state. 

These are the key Pennsylvania weapons laws to follow when you pass through or spend time in the Keystone state: 

Knife restrictions 

Pennsylvania state laws prohibit individuals from carrying any blade that opens with a spring, push-button or switch, including but not limited to razors, knives and daggers. You can receive a citation for carrying a switchblade, gravity knife, automatic knife, ballistic knife or similar weapon. 

You can legally carry a blade that requires one hand to remove it from the casing. Pocket knives, daggers, razors, box cutters, butterfly knives and Bowie knives are also legal in Pennsylvania. The state does not currently restrict knives over a certain blade length. 

Firearm restrictions 

Pennsylvania residents older than 21 can apply for a concealed carry permit. You can seek a permit as a nonresident if you already have a concealed carry permit in your home state. The application requires a current, valid photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport along with a criminal background check. Pennsylvania honors permits from many other states; however, permits from most surrounding states, including New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, are not reciprocal. 

Even when you have a permit, you may not carry a weapon in certain locations. These include: 

  • School buses and other school property 
  • Philadelphia city parks 
  • Federally prohibited areas 
  • Courthouses 

Permitted individuals may carry a weapon in state parks as well as in state and national forests. Pennsylvania also permits you to have your weapon in your vehicle.  

Depending on the extent of a weapons offense in Pennsylvania, a conviction could result in up to five years in prison. The individual may also receive a fine of up to $10,000.