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PA Launches Concealed-Carry Website To Clarify Rules For Gun Owners

(AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS -- The state Attorney General's office has launcheda website where gun owners can check which states recognize Pennsylvania's concealed carry permits -- and which outside permits are recognized by the commonwealth.

Pennsylvania only recognizes concealed carry licenses from the 29 other states with permitting requirements that are least as strict as its own, according to the most recent review by the A.G.'s office.

Idaho and Alabama are new to the list. Virginia is no longer on it, effective May 16.

"They have weaker standards than us," said state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Concealed-carry applicants have to be at least 21 years old and residents of the state or have a license proving residency in their home state.

They go through state and federal background checks, and are rejected if they've had a mental health commitment, domestic violence history, protection from abuse order implicating firearms, conviction for robbery or violent or drug-related crimes, dishonorable military discharge, or three DUI's within five years.

The local sheriff or state police agency handling the application also looks into the applicants' background for issues that might signal a "dangerous character or reputation," which can be grounds for rejecting the applicant.

There are 12 states where Pennsylvanians can concealed carry only if they apply separately for that state's permit.

Pennsylvania's concealed carry permits are good in 32 states, nine of which don't require them at all.

Pa. gun owners cannot carry or get a permit in five states: Colorado, Delaware, Nebraska, New Mexico and Oregon.

Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Malloy says the new site will be helpful for patrol officers.

"With a click of a mouse, the officers on the street can get this information very quickly. I believe it enhances the safety of the officers on the street, and allows them to make split second decisions in order to enforce the law that are on the books," he said.

More information is available at attorneygeneral.gov.