Pennsylvania Instant Check Denial

The following information is provided to you by:
J. Michael McCormick, Attorney at Law - Telephone: 412-828-8490 - Email:

Have you gotten a PICS Denial?

Have you tried to buy a gun and been told that you cannot because you failed an instant check (a PICS check)?
Have you applied for a license to carry a concealed firearm and been denied by PICS, or denied the renewal of your license to carry a concealed firearm because you were told that you failed a PICS check?

          If you have gotten a PICS denial, you should call Attorney McCormick immediately.

Make no mistake, you should take a PICS denial very seriously.

         The next thing that you might learn is that criminal charges have been filled against you, a misdemeanor charge (a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904. unsworn falsification to authorities) and also a felony charge (a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111 §§ (g)(4). Materially false written statement made in connection with the purchase of a firearm).

         If criminal charges are filed against you, remember you have the right to remain silent when questioned by police and you have the right to an attorney.

Many PICS Denials Are Valid

A PICS denial indicates that the Pennsylvania State Police have determined that there is something in your record that prevents you from legally possessing a firearm.  PICS denials are usually for a valid reason, but PICS sometimes makes a mistake.  If you get a PICS denial in error, the burden is on you to clear your name and restore your right to keep and bear arms. 

Some people think that a PICS denial means that they cannot buy new guns, but can continue to keep the guns that they already have.  WRONG.  If you were denied by PICS and you are in possession of a firearm or ammunition you might be committing a crime that could cost you years in jail if you are convicted. 

If you were denied by PICS your having a firearm that you bought years ago or even a gun that you inherited could end up in your being arrested and convicted.

You should contact a firearms attorney right away if you have gotten a PICS denial in order to determine where you stand with respect to firearms ownership and the law. 

Erroneous PICS denials:

However, many people have gotten PICS denials that were caused by errors in the records, incomplete records, other mistakes, or for old convictions for crimes that would no longer prevent a person from owning a gun if that crime were committed today.

This has happened to many law-abiding people including people who had purchased firearms before and to people who had gotten a license to carry before. 

It is happening more and more frequently.

The Pennsylvania State Police has been updating their computer records. What might not have shown up in the past might cause a PICS denial today.

In my experience people have told me that they have had guns for years, or have gotten hunting licenses and have been hunting for years, or that they have had a license to carry firearms for years but have recently been denied by PICS and they just cannot understand why.

PICS denials should almost always be challenged.

One reason is that when you get a PICS denial you are really not told in detail why you were denied.

You have only 30 days from a denial to file the PICS Challenge. Do not waste time in filing your challenge. File your PICS challenge as soon as possible. There are specific time response requirements that PICS must adhere to once it receives a challenge. Send your PICS challenge by certified mail and keep a copy.

However, before you file your PICS Challenge you should call me, Attorney Mike McCormick, or another attorney experienced in Pennsylvania firearms law.

Your attorney can inform the Pennsylvania State Police that he is representing you in connection with a PICS denial challenge and that might put a possible criminal prosecution on hold until the reasons for denial can be sorted out.

The police might be more likely to file criminal charges against you if you do not challenge a PICS denial.

If you are prosecuted for making a false statement when attempting to buy a firearm or getting a license, the police might argue at trial that you did not challenge that PICS denial because you knew that you lied when you tried to buy the firearm. You do not want to put yourself in that position.

Remember, if you have been denied by PICS it could mean that it is a crime for you to have any gun in your possession.




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The material found on this web site is for informational purposes only.
It is not legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date.
It is not a substitute for obtaining the services of an attorney.

This website is maintained by:

J. Michael McCormick
Attorney at Law
314 Center Avenue
PO Box 64
Verona, PA 15147

IMPORTANT: Be informed that no exchange of emails will create an attorney-client relationship with attorney McCormick. That can only be accomplished by entering into a separate written and signed attorney-client engagement agreement.

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