The question frequently arises as to where an individual with a valid License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) may not carry his/her firearm. For purposes of this article, I will focus strictly on State law places and not the federal place that are prohibited.
1. Court Facilities – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 913 and individual may not carry a firearm in a court facility. A court facility is defined as “The courtroom of a court of record; a courtroom of a community court; the courtroom of a magisterial district judge; a courtroom of the Philadelphia Municipal Court; a courtroom of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court; a courtroom of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia; judge’s chambers; witness rooms; jury deliberation rooms; attorney conference rooms; prisoner holding cells; offices of court clerks, the district attorney, the sheriff and probation and parole officers; and any adjoining corridors.” However, if conspicuous notice of this prohibition is not placed at the entrance of the court facility or the person does not have actual knowledge of the prohibition, that person cannot be charged with violating the law. Lastly, all court facilities must make lockers available for the checking of firearms and other dangerous items.
2. Casinos – Pursuant to Title 58 of the Pennsylvania Code, Part I, Chapter 44, Subsection 465a.13, an individual is prohibited from carrying a deadly weapon (firearm), stun gun, or other device designed to injure or incapacitate a person, within a licensed facility. However, the Code does provide that you can submit a written request to the Board for permission to carry deadly weapons. UPDATE: Attorney General Kathleen Kane issued an opinion that the Gaming Control Board’s regulation of firearms was preempted. See – https://blog.princelaw.com/2014/09/14/attorney-general-kanes-opinion-on-commonwealth-agencies-regulating-possession-of-firearms/
3. Elementary and Secondary School (both public and private) – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 912, an individual is prohibited from carrying on schools grounds and in school buildings. However, there is a defense to prosecution under this section of, “It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.” Unfortunately, “other lawful purpose” is not defined and the courts have not weighed in on whether a valid LTCF is a lawful purpose. UPDATE: The Superior Court, en banc, acknowledged that an individual in entitled to the defense, where the individual lawfully possesses a lawful weapon for a lawful purpose (i.e. not an unlawful purpose). See – https://blog.princelaw.com/2017/02/16/the-goslin-decisions-impact-on-possessing-weapons-on-school-property/
4. Detention Facilities, Correctional Institutes, or Mental Hospitals – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 5122 and 61 Pa.C.S. 5902, an individual cannot bring a weapon into a Detention Facility, Correctional Institute, or Mental Hospital.
5. Private Property – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 3503, where the individual is notified, either orally or in writing, that he/she is not permitted on the property with a firearm.
6. Certain Department of State Buildings – See, 49 Pa. Code 61.3.
7. Loaded Long Gun in a Vehicle – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 6106.1, it is unlawful to carry a loaded shotgun or rifle in one’s vehicle.
8. Veteran Affairs (VA) Facilities – Pursuant to 38 C.F.R. 1.218, it is unlawful to carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, except for official purposes. This would also seemingly apply to National Cemeteries run by the VA. See, http://www.cem.va.gov, for a listing.