Frequently, Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) that I represent will inquire whether they need to provide safety locks with every sale. While federal law does not require such, Pennsylvania law does. Pursuant to 18 PA.C.S. 6142, “It shall be unlawful for any licensee to sell, deliver or transfer any firearm as defined in section 6102 (relating to definitions), other than an antique firearm as defined in section 6118 ( relating to antique firearms), to any other person, other than another licensee, unless the transferee is provided with or purchases a locking device for that firearm or the design of the firearm incorporates a locking device.” So, what constitutes a “locking device?”
A locking device is defined as “(1) a device that, when installed on a firearm, is designed to prevent the firearm from being operated without first deactivating the device; or (2) a device that is incorporated into the design of a firearm and that is designed to prevent the operation of the firearm by anyone not having access to the device.” However, there is an exception for law enforcement. “Firearms for transfer to or possession by any law enforcement officer employed by any Federal, State or local government entity or rail police employed and certified by a rail carrier as a police officer are not subject to the provisions of this section”
While the legislature limited the penalty to that of a summary offense, violating this provision could provide your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) with a basis to revoke your PA Firearms License, which would result in your business shutting down. Thus, it is important that you always provide a locking device with the sale of any firearm.
If you are an FFL and have questions about Pennsylvania law or federal law, give us a call today to discuss your needs. We provide legal advice and representation from start-up to succession and dealing with all issues relating to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).