Why NOT To Report A Lost Or Stolen Firearm In Pennsylvania – Your Rights In the Crosshairs

While reporting a lost or stolen firearm may seem like the responsible or prudent action to take, given the current policies of several issuing authorities – including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Outlaw and Chester County Sheriff Maddox – reporting that you were the victim of crime will result in your license to carry firearms (“LTCF”) being revoked. Nothing like re-victimizing a victim of crime, eh?

As the Commonwealth Court recently acknowledged in City of Philadelphia v. Armstrong, 1204 C.D. 2020 – which struck down Philadelphia’s unlawful ordinance requiring an individual to report a lost or stolen firearm – there is no “provision in the Crimes Code or the UFA that mandates the reporting of a lost or stolen firearm to police officials.” Yet, most responsible gun owners, without a legal obligation to do such, report if a firearm is lost or stolen. However, given the recent actions of some issuing authorities, that may be inadvisable.

To understand why, one first has to understand the law and some issuing authorities’ unwritten policies.

Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 6106, in the absence of an LTCF, an individual is extremely limited in where he/she may transport a firearm to and even when permitted, requires that the individual go directly to and from that location. For example, if going to the range, the individual must go directly to and from the range. If he/she stops for a cup of coffee, to pick up a friend, or to use a bathroom, the individual has just violated the law, which is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree. That means, pursuant to federal law, the individual will be barred for life from being able to purchase, possess or utilize any firearm or ammunition, unless he/she is able to obtain relief (expungement, pardon…etc).

While there are several challenges pending in the federal courts, where I am representing the plaintiffs as to the constitutionality of Section 6106 (and other provisions of the Uniform Firearms Act, including the state of emergency provision found in section 6107), which may result in the statute(s) being found to be unconstitutional, at the present time, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement are enforcing Sections 6106, 6107, and 6108. This means that to be exempt from the restrictions found in Sections 6106, 6107 and 6108, the individual must have an LTCF. Thus, as I advise everyone, if you are eligible for an LTCF, regardless of whether you want to carry a concealed firearm, obtain your LTCF.

So you’ve obtained your LTCF but now, you’re the victim of crime as your firearm is stolen, whether from your home, place of business, vehicle…etc and you, being the responsible gun owner, report the theft to the police. If you’re a resident of Philadelphia, I can guarantee you that Commissioner Outlaw will revoke your LTCF. If you’re merely in Philadelphia at the time you’re the victim of a crime but a resident of a different county, I can guarantee you that Commissioner Outlaw will have a letter sent your issuing authority requesting that your LTCF be revoked. Many pro-rights Sheriffs place such communications where they belong – right in the shredder (because all LTCF information is confidential and not subject to disclosure; thus, it cannot be placed into the trash). After all, if we want people to do the right thing by reporting a lost or stolen firearm, why would you retaliate against them – re-victimizing a victim of crime – by revoking their LTCF and subjecting them to the draconian provisions found in Sections 6106, 6107 and 6108? Yet, some issuing authorities, like Commissioner Outlaw and Chester Co Sheriff Maddox, will do just that.

If you’re left scratching your head and wondering how this could possibly benefit the public, you’re not alone. Could you imagine if a law was enacted that required a rape victim to report his/her rape within a certain period of time or face prosecution for their failure to report? I didn’t think so; yet, these policies place responsible gun owners in that almost exact position.

So what should you do? Well, that decision is up to you, but understand that if you report a lost or stolen firearm, depending on who your issuing authority is, you may end up having your LTCF revoked and if you don’t successfully challenge the revocation, you’ll be subjected to the draconian provisions found in Sections 6106, 6107 and 6108.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a revocation of an LTCF or an unlawful municipal firearm or ammunition regulation or ordinance, contact FICG today to discuss your options.


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

10 thoughts on “Why NOT To Report A Lost Or Stolen Firearm In Pennsylvania – Your Rights In the Crosshairs

  1. Wish this was published and I read this years ago, as this happen to me. Not going to go into detail but my firearm was stolen, call the PD, full cooperated with the report and then weeks later they go after me. I hired Adam Kraut and he was able to get my license returned. Doing the right thing.. may not always be the right thing.. in this case.

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  2. “Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 6106, in the absence of an LTCF, an individual is extremely limited in where he/she may transport a firearm to and even when permitted, requires that the individual go directly to and from that location.”

    Does this apply in all cases? Even if the gun is unloaded, in a locked case, inaccessible to the passengers?

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    1. Yes. For firearms, you can only take them directly to and from the listed locations. Furthermore, they are required by law to be unloaded at all times. This does not apply to long guns or those with a LTCF.

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    2. Yes, in fact the law requires it to be unloaded and the ammo stored in a separate container from the gun. You can only go directly to and from the listed locations, no pit stops. A LTCF exempts you from those requirements. Furthermore, almost anything counts as a vehicle, even a bicycle or a horse.

      Keep in mind, I am not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice.

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    3. But the cited statute refers to concealed carry, Open Carry is legal last I knew in PA, with the one exemption that a firearm has to be unloaded in a vehicle, as they consider the vehicle as concealing it even if it’s otherwise open carried.

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      1. This list is about the consequences of reporting a stolen firearm, the loss of a concealed carry license, and the ramifications of losing a LTC.

        Open carry doesn’t factor into this.

        So yes, hypothetically, if you report a firearm stolen and lose your LTC, then yes, you should still be able to open carry, but open carrying doesn’t exempt you from the vehicle transportation statute that was cited.

        “Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who 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 under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.”

        Hence, it seems that you cannot open carry in a vehicle.

        How are you going to go anywhere while open carrying? You can’t get into any vehicle with a gun unless you have a LTC.

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      2. Open carry is open carry – the minute you get in a vehicle, the transportation limits kick in. So you can leave your house, open carry and walk around all day (so long there is not a declared emergency). However, if you think you can walk out to your car, unload your firearm and drive to Walmart, reload and OC around Walmart — you have violated the law unless that Walmart houses one of the few exceptions (place of repair, shooting range, etc) — if you don’t have a LTCF

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  3. What about Open Carry? LCF or not you can open carry anywhere in the commonwealth other than in a vehicle, where you can still carry, but it must be unloaded. Has that been repealed and I didn’t hear about it?

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