PA firearm background check system sees record high volume in 4th quarter of 2020

Local News
gun registry

FILE – In a May 16, 2006 file photo, rifles line a hunting store’s shelves in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday, May 1, 2020 that Canada is banning the use and trade of assault-style weapons immediately. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

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 Statistics20192020
Total number of PICS checks conducted272,901420,581
     Number of persons denied4,1067,458
Total number of denials referred to law enforcement agencies1,1551,317
     Referred to Pennsylvania State Police357352
     Referred to Local Law Enforcement791932
     Referred to ATF733
Number of individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase4252
Courtesy: PSP

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.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events Calendar