Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) continues to see a decline during the third quarter of 2021 after record-breaking previous quarters. In addition, PSP released the number of firearms purchase denials, subsequent investigations, and arrests that resulted from investigations for the period of July 1 through September 30, 2021.
Established in 1998, 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. In the third quarter of 2021, PICS completed 303,156 background checks, which is a decline from the second quarter of 2021 (334,108) and the third quarter of 2020 (406,151).
Previously, PICS activity hit record-setting highs in three consecutive quarters with 427,450 background checks completed during the first quarter of 2021, 420,581 background checks completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, and 406,151 background checks completed in the third quarter of 2020.
Statistics for the third quarter of 2020 are included for comparison.
|Third Quarter PICS Statistics||2020||2021|
|Total number of PICS checks conducted||406,151||303,156|
| Number of persons denied||6,950||5,545|
|Total number of denials referred to law enforcement agencies||1,510||1,465|
| Referred to Pennsylvania State Police||450||356|
| Referred to Local Law Enforcement||1,032||1,066|
| Referred to ATF||28||43|
|Number of individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase||93||34|
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 if they willfully present false identification that is likely to deceive a firearm seller, licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer. 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 addition, during the background check process, individuals may be identified as having an active warrant for their arrest.
First Quarter 2020 PICS Statistics
Second Quarter 2020 PICS Statistics
Third Quarter 2020 PICS Statistics
Fourth Quarter 2020 PICS Statistics
First Quarter 2021 PICS Statistics
Second Quarter 2021 PICS Statistics
Pennsylvania Instant Check System Annual Reports
MEDIA CONTACT: Grace Griffaton or Corporal Brent Miller, 717-783-5556
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