No person, even the holder of a license to carry a firearm, may carry a loaded long gun in a vehicle.1
In addition, Pennsylvania law provides that “any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle…without a valid and lawfully issued license…commits a felony.”2 This rule does not apply to:
- Those traveling to or from target shooting, if the firearm is unloaded with the cartridges or shells carried in a separate container;
- Officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry a concealed firearm;
- Agents, messengers, or employees of banks or businesses whose duties require them to protect money or other valuable property in the discharge of their duties;
- Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms or the agent of such person, having in his or her possession, using, or carrying a firearm in the usual course of business;
- Any person carrying an unloaded firearm in a secure wrapper between certain places, including the place of purchase or repair to his or her home or place of business, or when moving from one home or business to another;
- Any person licensed to hunt or fish, if he or she is actually hunting or fishing;
- A person training dogs during the regular training season;
- Any person carrying a firearm in a vehicle who possesses a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the U.S. or any other state;
- A person who had a license to possess a firearm that expired within six months before his or her date of arrest, if the person is otherwise eligible for renewal of the license; and
- Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a firearm and who is operating a 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 license has been issued to the spouse or parent owning the firearm.3
It is generally unlawful to operate or ride in any snowmobile or ATV in possession of a loaded firearm.4
See the Guns in Schools in Pennsylvania section below regarding transportation to schools.
Finally, no person may possess a firearm of any kind “in or on or against any conveyance propelled by mechanical power or its attachments at any time whether or not the vehicle or its attachment is in motion unless the firearm is unloaded” or that person is in possession of a valid license to carry a firearm.5 This prohibition does not apply to holders of a license to carry a firearm.6
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- Pennsylvania defines a firearm as “[a]ny pistol or revolver with a barrel length less than 15 inches, any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or any rifle with a barrel length less than 16 inches, or any pistol, revolver, rifle or shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches.” 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6102. Loaded firearms not included in this definition generally may not be carried by any person, including holders of a license to carry a firearm, in any vehicle. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6106.1.
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6106(a).
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6106(b). One who violates this section but “who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license” and “has not committed any other criminal violation” commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6106(a)(2).
- 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 7727.
- 34 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2503.
- 34 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2503(b)(3). Other exceptions are also listed in this section.