Legal question carry on school grounds in PA

Pennsylvania legal question.

Does having a conceal and carry permit allow you to carry a weapon into or onto public school grounds?

I am asking for the pure purpose of a concerned parent sitting at a graduation event…unarmed. yes, there are police in attendance but they aren’t everywhere.
If it is not legal, what is the basis of why?



Places off-limits even with a permit/license * The buildings and grounds of elementary and secondary education schools and school buses (However, a Pennsylvania court ruling in Commonwealth v Goslin upheld the defense for lawful possession of weapons on school property for “other lawful purpose[s],” as referenced in Section 912(c), leaving uncertainty regarding the legality of concealed carry in schools for self defense) [18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 912];

  • Courthouses (off-limits areas must be posted) [18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 913];
  • Detention facilities and correctional institutions [18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5122];
  • Mental hospitals [18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5122];
  • The public areas of One Penn Center, 2601 North Third Street, Harrisburg, under the jurisdiction of the Department of State including the interior offices of the Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation, State Athletic Commission and leased offices and facilities related thereto [Dept. of Genl Services website];
  • City of Philadelphia-owned buildings and parks (although this disregards state preemption laws) [Phila. Code § 16-306];
  • Secured areas of airports; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.
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I wouldn’t, does not seem to be legal.

Why? Ask your state legislature

I found the same thing. So, if my ccw is for defense then can i be in trouble?

Gun Free Zones equal Tragedies that Politicians use.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste”- Rahm Emanuel

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Fact. It’s a shame.

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That seems to be what your state superior court concluded five years ago. The case cited seemed to involve a different prohibited weapon (closed folding knife), Apparently “because I carry it for lawful purposes every day to every place” was not sufficient as the “other lawful purpose” allowed by the statute.

It’s not clear whether the perception of others present — that the knife had been presented “with menace” instead of just being carried concealed in the course of conducting business at the school — had any bearing on the decision. If a pocket knife is considered a “prohibited dangerous weapon” I expect a firearm would also.

If nothing has changed in the intervening years, it seems like being detected while attending a graduation could end up with you being the next test case.


Don’t overlook the Gun Free Schools Acts of 1990 and 1994. Those are federal laws.


Do note that the gun free school zone act does allow the state to have exceptions for those licensed by that state.


I ran into a police friend of mine there. He wasn’t exactly sure but he leaned on the side of no, not allowed. I made a comment of… there are probably 20 ppl here carrying… he replied probably more.
I’m going to refrain of course but, I’m not happy about it.


As they say, “check your local listings/laws”. :blush:

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You are correct, and therefore state and local laws may affect how the federal school zone laws are applied.

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After doing more digging, it is recommended that you don’t, unless you are ready for a legal fight. It is a gray area currently.

Question caught my eye and tightened my jaw. Former AG Kathleen Kane (D) canceled the Reciprocity with Utah for Non-Resident permits before she went to jail.

The disgraced ex-attorney general saw a rapid downward spiral from what were believed to be lofty aspirations. She was sent to prison after being convicted of leaking confidential grand jury material and then attempting to cover it up.

That’s crazy

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And those laws basically say that if the state allows you to carry into school grounds then the federal government is ok with it.