State Police Announce Firearm Purchase Denials in Third Quarter

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced the number of firearm purchase denials and subsequent investigations from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2022.

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) is used by licensed firearms dealers to determine whether someone can legally obtain a firearm through a purchase or transfer. County sheriffs and Philadelphia police use PICS to determine whether someone can legally acquire a license to carry.

In the third quarter of 2022, background checks through PICS totaled 285,980.

In Pennsylvania, a person commits a third-degree felony if they provide false statements on any state or federal form or present false identification that is likely to deceive a firearm seller, licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer. When someone provides false information during a background check, an investigation is initiated by the PSP Firearms Division and referred to the applicable law enforcement agency.

Additionally, during the PICS process, some people are found to have an active warrant for their arrest.

The following investigations were initiated by the PSP Firearms Division and referred to troops, local police departments, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for further investigation and possible prosecution. A comparison to the third quarter of 2021 is included.

Third Quarter PICS Statistics20212022
Total number of PICS checks conducted303,156285,980
     Persons denied5,5454,437
Total denials referred to law enforcement agencies1,4651,529
     Referred to Pennsylvania State Police356363
     Referred to local law enforcement1,0661,030
     Referred to ATF43136
Arrests for a warrant at point of purchase3427

For more information on PICS and carrying firearms in Pennsylvania, visit

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Media Contacts

Adam Reed

State Police Media

Myles Snyder

State Police Media