Pennsylvania Open Carry Guidance for Law Enforcement

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“Open Carry” is a term referring to the right of law abiding citizens 18 or older to display their firearm in public spaces without the need for a permit. The legal basis for this right can be found in the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. This federal right has been further defined by the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995 which places restrictions on firearms owned by citizens of the Commonwealth.

Recognize that the open carrier may be an activist looking to entrap you into a constitutional confrontation. Don’t take the bait! Keep your views on open carry to yourself. Otherwise, you are inviting an escalation, and doing so unnecessarily. On the other side of the coin, beyond the decorum associated and expected of a professional police officer, you are not obligated to listen to a speech from an open carry advocate, or to answer a pre-planned series of questions on your understanding of the law. Again, absent any aggravating circumstances (e.g., terroristic threats, being spit upon, being pushed, etc.) give them a nod and wish them a good day.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Christopher Boyle | Attorney Advertising

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