PA State Police Announces Quarterly Firearms Purchase Denial Investigations

PA State Police Announces Quarterly Firearms Purchase Denial Investigations

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania State Police announced the number of firearms purchase denials, subsequent investigations, and arrests resulting from such investigations for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) is used by county sheriffs, chiefs of police of cities of the first class, and licensed firearms dealers in Pennsylvania to determine an individual’s legal ability to acquire a license to carry firearms or obtain a firearm through a purchase or transfer.

When an individual provides false information on a state and/or federal form, an investigation is initiated, and an investigation referral is sent to the corresponding law enforcement agency.

In Pennsylvania, a person commits a felony of the third degree if they make a false oral or written statement on any federal or state agency form or willfully presents false identification that is likely to deceive the seller, licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer. During the PICS process, individuals may also be identified as having an active warrant for their arrest.

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During the fourth quarter of 2019, the following investigations were initiated by the Pennsylvania State Police Firearms Division and referred to troops, municipal police departments, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for further investigation and possible prosecution. Statistics for the fourth quarter of 2018 are included for comparison.

Fourth Quarter PICS Statistics 2018 2019
Total number of PICS checks conducted 271,730 272,938
    Number of persons denied 2,855 3,221
Total number of denials referred to law enforcement agencies 1,206 1,155
    Referred to Pennsylvania State Police 389 356
    Referred to Local Law Enforcement 786 792
    Referred to ATF 31 7
Number of individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase 43 42
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Source: Pennsylvania State Police

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