Please note that you must be a current resident of Berks County in order to apply for, (or renew), a License to Carry. All out of County applications will be denied by our staff.
Learning the laws regulating the use of firearms is a must for responsible ownership. Local regulations differ and laws vary from state to state. Citizens must check with the jurisdiction where the gun is to be used.
The Sheriff and his staff are required to follow strict state guidelines when performing the necessary background checks for License to Carry Permits. Due to the nature of the detailed due diligence, appointment times and processing times can take multiple weeks.
License to Carry Permits can be obtained from the county sheriff of your county of residence.
Upon submitting an application through this site, you will be responsible for all fees associated. If denied by PA Insta Check or by failure to answer any questions appropriately, $15 will be refunded. This reflects an administrative fee of $5 that will be kept by the Sheriff's Office per State Statute and any convenience fees kept by Permitium.
Gaining competency with firearms is like learning to drive a car or fly an airplane. You need expert instruction and practice. There is no shortcut. If you are not willing to invest the time and effort to become competent, then having a firearm and trying to use it can, in many instances, be more hazardous than any impending threat.
To Apply for a License to Carry Permit at the Berks County Sheriff's Office, the applicant must:
Individuals who are 21 years of age or older and are NOT Pennsylvania residents may apply for a license by submitting a completed Application for a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms to any Pennsylvania County Sheriff’s office along with the required fee. A Pennsylvania license cannot be issued to a resident of another state who does not possess a current license or permit or similar document to carry a firearm issued by their home state if a license is provided for by the laws of that state, as published annually in the Federal Register by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the Department of the Treasury.
The sheriff has 45 days to conduct an investigation to determine an individual's eligibility to be issued a license. Included in the investigation is a background check conducted on the individual through the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) to determine if the records indicate the individual is prohibited by law. In accordance with 18 PA C.S. §6109, a sheriff may deny an individual the right to a License to Carry Firearms if there is reason to believe that the character and reputation of the individual are such that they would be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.
If the PICS check is approved and the subject is of good character, the sheriff may issue a License to Carry Firearms. The issuance of a License to Carry Firearms allows individuals to carry a firearm concealed on or about their person, or in a vehicle throughout this Commonwealth. The license is valid for a period of five (5) years unless sooner revoked.
NOTE: A license to carry firearms is NOT a license to purchase. Individuals who purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer are required to have a background check conducted regardless of whether they have a license to carry firearms or not.
Are there exceptions to carrying a firearm without a Pennsylvania License to Carry?
A License to Carry Firearms is issued to carry a firearm concealed on one’s person or in a vehicle within this Commonwealth. Any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person except in his place of abode or fixed place of business without a valid and lawfully issued license commits a felony of the third degree.
A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license under this chapter but carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license and has not committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Listed below are exceptions as outlined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106. (2) (b) Exceptions:
(Note that before an exception would be granted under numbers 9 and 10, the person must obtain a valid Sportsman’s Firearm Permit from the county treasurer.)
For more information about carrying firearms in Pennsylvania, please reference the Pennsylvia State Police website.
Please visit the PA Attorney General's Website at: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/resources/concealed-carry-reciprocity/ for states that have agreements with PA regarding concealed carry. Also it is important to note, some states have ammunition requirements, magazine restrictions, etc. Know before you go!