State Police Announce Fourth Quarter Firearms Purchase Denial Investigations

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

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) is used by county sheriffs, chiefs of police of cities of the first class, 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 and/or federal form, an investigation is initiated, and an investigation referral is sent to the corresponding 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 presents 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 as well.

For the fourth quarter, the following investigations were initiated by the PSP Firearms Division and referred to PSP troops, municipal police departments, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for further investigation and possible prosecution.

Table 1: Fourth Quarter PICS Statistics

PICS Checks Conducted321,664312,131
Persons Denied4,2463,746
Denials referred to law enforcement agencies1,9462,490
            Referred to Pennsylvania State Police4321,000
            Referred to local law enforcement1,3561,338
            Referred to ATF158152
Individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase3423

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