We have a lot of questions that come in about legal age to purchase a firearm and legal age to possess a firearm. In Pennsylvania, it’s actually kind of simple—legal age to purchase, that is. When it comes to a handgun, both under federal and state law, it’s 21 years old. If it’s a long gun, then it’s 18 years old under federal and state law. Pretty simple.
To possess a handgun under the State of Pennsylvania law you must be 18 unless you’re with a parent, a grandparent, guardian, or engaged in a lawful activity, such as target shooting with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.
Under federal law, it’s also 18 years old, but there’s no caveat or restrictions. Long guns, under Pennsylvania and federal law, there are no age minimums, whatsoever.
It’s pretty simple in terms of possession, particularly when it comes to handguns. That’s where some tension is going on. Do the stores have the right to make their own policies that supersede or go above that federal and state guidelines?