En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Pennsylvania

UPDATED May 25, 2017

View All

Below is information about state gun laws in Pennsylvania.  A PFA order or criminal conviction may make it illegal for an abuser to have a gun.  However, in addition to these state-specific laws, there are also federal gun laws that could apply.  To fully understand all of the legal protections available, it is important that you also read the Federal Gun Laws pages.

Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area.  Go to our PA Where to Find Help to find an organization near you.

More Information and Where to Get Help

back to topI do not have a PFA against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. How can I stay safe?

You can still make a plan for your safety.  See our Staying Safe page for more information.  You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help.  You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety.  See our PA State and Local Programs page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.


For additional information on gun laws in Pennsylvania, you can go to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence website.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topThe abuser uses a gun for his/her job. Can the judge still take away his guns in my PFA order?

Maybe.  Under Pennsylvania state law, if the abuser is a licensed firearms dealer, the judge may order him/her to give up any federal or state license for the sale, manufacture or importation of firearms as well as all firearms in the his business inventory.  However, the judge has to make a reasonable effort to help the abuser keep his/her business as a means of financial security while still doing what is needed to protect you.*

However, there are federal gun laws that make it illegal for anyone convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor to buy or have a gun, even if s/he is a police officer or a military employee.  To read more, go to our Federal Gun Laws page.

If you are confused or not sure whether the abuser can still use his/her gun for work purposes, you can talk to a domestic violence advocate in your area or call the National Center on Protection Order and Full Faith & Credit to find out more information: 1-800-903-0111, ext. 2.

To find a domestic violence advocate in your area, please go to our PA State and Local Programs page.

* 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6108(a)(7.1)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topI've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.

  • You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. See our PA State and Local Programs page for a list of resources.
  • You can also contact the National Center on Protection Order and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about federal firearm laws and how they apply to you: 1-800-903-0111, ext. 2.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top