State Police Announce First Quarter Firearms Purchase Denial Investigations

April 13, 2022

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) conducted 321,666 background checks during the first quarter, which is a 25% decrease compared to the first quarter of 2021. In addition, PSP released the number of firearms purchase denials, subsequent investigations, and arrests that resulted from investigations for the first quarter of 2022.

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.

Statistics for the first quarter of 2021 are included for comparison.

First Quarter PICS Statistics 2021 2022
Total number of PICS checks conducted 427,450 321,666
     Number of persons denied 6,444 5,486
Total number of denials referred to law enforcement agencies 1,325 1,975
     Referred to Pennsylvania State Police 296 493
     Referred to Local Law Enforcement 1,001 1,408
     Referred to ATF 28 74
Number of individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase 52 13

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.

Additional Information

First Quarter 2021 PICS Statistics
Second Quarter 2021 PICS Statistics
Third Quarter 2021 PICS Statistics
Fourth Quarter 2021 PICS Statistics
Pennsylvania Instant Check System Annual Reports

For more information on firearms in Pennsylvania, visit

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Corporal Brent Miller or Lieutenant Adam Reed, 717-783-5556,