In Pennsylvania, an unlicensed seller may only sell a handgun or short-barreled rifle or shotgun to an unlicensed purchaser at the place of business of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or county sheriff’s office.1 The licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or sheriff must comply with all of the dealer regulations set forth in the Pennsylvania Dealer Regulations section, including a background check on prospective purchaser.2 These requirements do not apply to transfers between spouses, parents and children, or grandparents and grandchildren.3 These requirements also do not generally apply to transfers of long guns.4
Any seller who knowingly and intentionally delivers a firearm to an individual who is not eligible to possess a firearm commits a third degree felony.5
No seller may deliver a handgun or short-barreled rifle or shotgun to the purchaser or transferee unless the firearm is securely wrapped and unloaded.6
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.7
See the section entitled Firearms Trafficking for additional laws that limit private sales of firearms.
See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.