State Police Announce First Quarter Firearms Purchase Denial Investigations

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced today the number of firearms purchase denials and subsequent investigations for the first 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 first 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: First quarter PICS statistics

PICS checks conducted321,666327,272
Persons denied5,4864,645
Denials referred to law enforcement agencies1,9752,121
Referred to Pennsylvania State Police493455
Referred to municipal police departments1,4081,525
Referred to ATF74141
Individuals arrested for warrants at point of purchase1325

Source: Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Records and Identification, Firearms Division, April 2023

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