Gun sales

HARRISBURG — The number of people denied to own firearms after a Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) checks is up in Pennsylvania from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the State Police.

The total number of PICS checks conducted in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 271,730 with 2,855 people denied. In the fourth quarter of 2019, 272,938 people were checked and 3,221 were denied, according to data released by the state police on Friday.

The total number of denials referred to law enforcement was 1,206 in 2018 (389 referred to state police, 786 referred to local law enforcement and 31 referred to ATF) compared to 1,115 in 2019 (356 to state police, 792 referred to local law and seven referred to ATF). The number of individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase was 43 in 2018 and 42 in 2019, according to the data.

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) is used by county sheriffs, chiefs of police of cities of the first class, and licensed firearms dealers in Pennsylvania to determine an individual’s legal ability to acquire a license to carry firearms or obtain a firearm through a purchase or transfer.

When an individual provides false information on a state and/or federal form, an investigation is initiated, and an investigation referral is sent to the corresponding law enforcement agency.

In Pennsylvania, a person commits a felony of the third degree if they make a false oral or written statement on any federal or state agency form or willfully presents false identification that is likely to deceive the seller, licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer. During the PICS process, individuals may also be identified as having an active warrant for their arrest.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, the following investigations were initiated by the Pennsylvania State Police Firearms Division and referred to troops, municipal police departments, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for further investigation and possible prosecution.

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