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Legal Information: Pennsylvania

State Gun Laws

Laws current as of December 15, 2023

If the abuser's gun is taken away, what will happen to it?

If the abuser is ordered to give up his/her guns at the court hearing for a final PFA, s/he must give them up within 24 hours of the time the judge makes the order. In the case of an ex parte temporary order, s/he must give them up within 24 hours of the time s/he receives a copy of the order.1 The abuser can give the guns to the local sheriff, to a “third party” for safekeeping, or to a licensed dealer for safekeeping or sale. If the abuser gives his/her guns to the sheriff or to a third party, that person will keep them until the PFA expires. If the abuser gives them to a licensed dealer, s/he can ask that the dealer to keep them until the PFA expires, or s/he can ask that the dealer sell them.Note: The “third party” must be the abuser’s attorney or a commercial armory.2

Once a temporary or final protection from abuse order has been dismissed or expires, the abuser would fill out a “weapons return form” and submit it to the sheriff or other law enforcement agency. You are then supposed to be notified that the abuser has requested to have his/her firearms, other weapons or ammunition returned.3

However, if a person is prohibited from having guns due to another reason other than having a protection from abuse order against him/her, s/he has up to 60 days to sell or transfer them to another eligible person who is not a member of same household​.​4

1 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6108(a)(7)
2 23 Pa.C.S.A. §§§ 6108.3; 6108.2; 6108.1
3 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6108.1(a), (a.2)
4 18 Pa.C.S.A. §​ 6105(a)(2)(i)