Submit a Challenge to a Firearms Background Check Decision

If you want to challenge a denial decision by the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS), download and complete the form, and mail it to the PICS Challenge Section within 30 days of the date of denial.


In 1988, the Pennsylvania State Police Firearms Division launched the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS). PICS is used by firearms dealers to verify who can legally buy a firearm.

If a purchase is denied by PICS or the system returns an undetermined result, the dealer will inform the applicant of their right to challenge.

The challenge process

Challengers should provide additional information for the purpose of review. Information regarding dispositions on old arrest records and related information may be helpful in the challenge process.

  1. Download and complete the PICS Challenge form.
  2. Sign and date the form.
  3. Within 30 days of the date of denial, mail the completed and signed form to:

    PICS Challenge Section
    1800 Elmerton Avenue
    Harrisburg, PA 17110

PSP will respond in writing within five business days of receipt of a valid challenge form.

Within 60 days of receipt of a valid challenge, a final decision will be provided to the challenger.