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Pennsylvania law states that a firearms dealer’s state license will be revoked if the licensee fails to keep a record in triplicate of every firearm sold and retain the records for 20 years.1

Pennsylvania law also requires firearm dealers to provide a record of the sale of any handgun or certain other firearms2 to the Firearms Division of the Pennsylvania State Police (“PSP”), which maintains a permanent database of these sales.3 Generally, no record of sale is completed for the purchase of a long gun;4 however, PSP must destroy any record of sale of a long gun within 72 hours of the background check.5 See the Pennsylvania Registration of Firearms section for more information.

Regarding long guns, the dealer must submit a statement to PSP within 14 days of the sale, containing the number of long guns sold, the amount of surcharge and other fees remitted and a list of the unique approval numbers given, together with a statement that the background checks have been performed on the firearms contained in the statement. PSP has a form available for purposes of submitting this statement.6


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  1. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6113(a)(5).[]
  2. This includes “any 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. The barrel length of a firearm shall be determined by measuring from the muzzle of the barrel to the face of the closed action, bolt or cylinder, whichever is applicable.” 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6102.[]
  3. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(b). See also Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League v. Rendell, 860 A.2d 10, 11-12 (Pa. 2004) (describing PSP-maintained database pursuant to the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995. A person violating these provisions who has already been convicted under them previously (in other words, a repeat offender), receives an enhanced punishment under Pennsylvania law. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(h).[]
  4. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(b)(1.4).[]
  5. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(b)(1.1)(v).[]
  6. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(b)(1.4).[]