State police are reporting a record-breaking number of background checks for firearms in Pennsylvania.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, the fourth quarter of 2020 was the busiest in the history of the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS), breaking the previous record that was set in the third quarter of 2020.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, PICS completed 420,581 background checks. The highest total previously was 406,151, set in the third quarter of 2020.
“Our department is proud of PICS and the men and women behind the system who worked hard to meet record-setting demand throughout 2020,” said Captain Mark Shaver, assistant director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Records and Identification. “For the year, we saw a 47 percent increase in PICS requests from 2019, and the team stepped up to answer the call during a global pandemic.”
|Fourth Quarter PICS Statistics||2019||2020|
|Total number of PICS checks conducted||272,901||420,581|
|Number of persons denied||4,106||7,458|
|Total number of denials referred to law enforcement agencies||1,155||1,317|
|Referred to Pennsylvania State Police||357||352|
|Referred to Local Law Enforcement||791||932|
|Referred to ATF||7||33|
|Number of individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase||42||52|
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 a firearm seller, licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer. During the PICS process, individuals may also be identified as having an active warrant for their for their arrest.