State Police Announce Firearms Purchase Denial Investigations

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania State Police announced today the number of firearms purchase denials and subsequent investigations for the second quarter of 2023.

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) is used by county sheriffs, chiefs of police of first-class cities, and licensed firearms dealers 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 attempts to provide false information on a state or federal form, an investigation is initiated, and an investigation referral is sent to a law enforcement agency.

According to Pennsylvania law, 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 present false identification that is likely to deceive the seller, licensed dealer or licensed manufacturer. During the PICS process, some individuals are identified as having an active warrant for their arrest.

In the second quarter, the following investigations were initiated by the PSP Firearms Division and referred to PSP troops, municipal police departments, or the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for further investigation and possible prosecution.

Table 1: Second quarter PICS statistics

PICS checks conducted295,003268,445
Persons denied4,9733,919
Denials Referred to law enforcement agencies1,5922,017
Referred to Pennsylvania State Police399464
Referred to municipal law enforcement1,1141,398
Referred to ATF79155
Individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase1629

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