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What are the rules when traveling with a firearm in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | criminal defense |

If you cross state lines with a firearm, you must learn the laws of each state you travel through to avoid legal troubles.

Pennsylvania’s rules for transporting firearms can be confusing. Therefore, whether you are vacationing or conducting business in the state, it is important to know and understand your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner.


Any pistol or revolver with a barrel measuring less than 15 inches is a firearm in Pennsylvania. To act in accordance with state law:

  • You may carry a concealed firearm on your person or inside a vehicle with a valid License to Carry Firearms (LTCF)
  • You may open carry a handgun without a license but cannot conceal the firearm
  • You must not transport a loaded handgun in your car without a license

Long guns

Under Pennsylvania law, a long gun is a rifle with a barrel measuring at least 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel measuring at least 18 inches. If you plan to travel with your weapon:

  • You may carry a long gun, openly or concealed, without an LTCF
  • If you can legally possess a firearm, you may carry an unloaded long gun in your vehicle
  • You cannot carry a loaded long gun in a car even if you possess a valid LTCF

Firearm reciprocity

In 1995, the Attorney General gained the authority to establish firearm reciprocity agreements with other states so citizens may travel with firearms without needing to apply for additional licenses. To learn if your state’s concealed carry permit is valid in Pennsylvania, you can view the comprehensive reciprocity list here.

Ignoring local gun laws can lead to serious criminal weapons charges. Whether you travel with a firearm for work, leisure or personal protection, protect your freedom by knowing your rights.