Concealed Firearms: Who Can Get a License?

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

By: Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., Esq.*A resident of Pennsylvania can obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm by applying to the sheriff of the county where the applicant resides.The applicant must be at least 21 years of age. Additional criteria include:

  • The applicant’s character and reputation is such that he or she would not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.
  • During the past ten years, the applicant has not been adjudged delinquent of certain specified crimes, or for a violation of Pennsylvania’s Drug Act.
  • The applicant is not a fugitive from justice.
  • The applicant has not been dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.
  • The applicant is not addicted to nor is an unlawful user of marijuana or a stimulant, depressant or narcotic drug.

The application must be submitted to the sheriff’s department where the applicant resides. In Luzerne County, for example, applications must be submitted in person to the licensing division of the sheriff’s department, located in the basement of the Luzerne County Courthouse, 200 North River Street, Wilkes Barre, between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Wednesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.A fee of $25 is required.The sheriff’s department then does a background check of the information submitted on the application. The background check includes submission of the application to the Pennsylvania Instant Check System. When the background check is completed, the applicant’s information, photograph and signatures are electronically recorded, and the applicant is either issued or denied a license or is notified that further investigation is required.Assuming that the applicant successfully passed the background check, the applicant is issued a license which is valid for five (5) years. The permit can be renewed at that time, pursuant to a similar process.*From 1992 to 1999, Peter Paul Olszewski was the District Attorney of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. He investigated many cases involving the use of deadly force. He was later a Luzerne County Judge and presided over multiple trials involving deadly shootings. He has been a Life Member of the NRA for over 30 years and is an avid hunter and expert marksman.