A charge of carrying a firearm outside your home or your place of business without a license to carry is serious business. Depending on the circumstances, you may only receive a first degree misdemeanor conviction, but you could also serve jail time if a court charges and convicts you of a third degree felony. However, not all residents who carry guns must possess a license to carry.
Because of the variety of exceptions to the state license to carry law, an officer who arrests you for carrying a gun without a license might not know that the law exempts you. Here is a look at some of the circumstances a person may carry a firearm without needing a license to carry.
Police and military
As you might expect, police officers or other members of law enforcement have the right to carry firearms without a license to carry. This latitude also extends to employees of the government who have authorization to possess a concealed weapon. In addition, members of the National Guard or other branches of the U.S. military may carry their firearms while they are on duty.
People who have hunting licenses should have no reason to fear arrest for carrying a firearm. Pennsylvania law makes it clear that residents who have licenses to hunt and are engaged in hunting have an exemption from the license carry law, provided they also have a Sportsman’s Firearm Permit. This provision also extends to hunters as they travel to a hunting ground or are leaving a hunting location.
Some jobs require you to protect items such as money or valuable property. These jobs can include security guards at banks or agents who have to drive valuables from one place to another. These jobs often require the possession of firearms. State law permits people in these jobs to have a gun as long as they receive certification from requirements established in the Lethal Weapons Training Act.
Firearm company workers
Some Pennsylvania residents work for a company that manufactures or sells firearms. Even if you do not work for such a company, you may represent one. Whether you work directly for a firearm company or only act as a representative, you may need to carry a firearm as part of the regular course of business. Under state law, you should not have a problem having a firearm under these conditions.