State Police Announce Quarterly Firearms Purchase Denial Investigations

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

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) is used by county sheriffs, police chiefs 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 and/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 third-degree felony 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.

In the third quarter, the following investigations were initiated by the PSP Firearms Division and referred to PSP Troops, municipal police departments, or ATF for further investigation and possible prosecution.

Table 1: Third quarter PICS statistics (2022 and 2023)

PICS checks conducted285,980242,090
Persons denied4,4373,539
Denials referred to law enforcement agencies1,5292,539
Referred to Pennsylvania State Police363896
Referred to municipal law enforcement1,0301,526
Referred to ATF136117
Individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase2718

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