DuBois, PA asked in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Am I able to carry a handgun as a Constable under the age of 21 for official use outside of the judicial/court system?

Hello, I'm a 19 year old newly elected Constable for Mount Union Borough in Huntingdon county. I was wondering if I could legally possess a handgun for law enforcement duties outside of the judicial system/PCCD such as tending to a breach of the peace or election day security at the polls. It is my understanding that the Constable falls under the executive branch of government and are exempt from the need to have a concealed carry license, I also plan on receiving an Act 235 certification before carrying a firearm in an official capacity since all LEO's must be qualified on a firearm before carrying it. I have talked to multiple LEO's (municipal police, Game Commission, State Troopers, and Sheriffs Deputies) who have varying opinions on the legality of me carrying a handgun since I am under 21. I do not wish to find myself in legal trouble with any LE agency so I have refrained from pursuing firearms training until I know that I can or cannot legally carry a handgun. Thank you.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on Pennsylvania law, as a constable you likely cannot legally carry a handgun for official duties if you are under 21 years old. Here are the key factors:

- In Pennsylvania, individuals must be at least 21 to be eligible for a license to carry firearms concealed. There are no general exemptions for law enforcement officers under 21.

- While constables occupy an office in the executive branch and have limited law enforcement powers, the authority and training requirements differ from typical police officers.

- Act 235 training only qualifies you to carry firearms specifically within your judicially-prescribed duties and the court system. It does not cover usage for general peace officer duties outside the courts.

- So for actions like election security, breach of peace responses, etc. there currently does not appear to be an exemption allowing official firearm possession if under 21 years old.

My recommendation would be to not carry a firearm at this time based on your current age and limitations around law enforcement authority as a Pennsylvania constable. Focus first on the other aspects of your duties. Once you turn 21, completing Act 235 and applying for a concealed carry permit would be important next steps to legally arm yourself on duty.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.