HARRISBURG, PA (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania State Police released the number of firearm purchase denials in the fourth quarter of 2022 on Wednesday.

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) conducted 321,664 background checks in the fourth quarter of 2022, (October-December) which is the second-highest quarter in the year. Of those, 4,246 were denied the purchase of a firearm.

Of those denied, 1,946 were referred to law enforcement agencies including state police local law enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

PICS are used by county sheriffs, chief of police of cities of the first class and licensed firearms dealers in Pennsylvania to determine if an individual is legally able to acquire to carry firearms.

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 if they willfully present false identification that is likely to deceive a firearm seller, licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer. When an individual provides false information on a state and/or federal form, an investigation is initiated, and an investigation referral is sent to the corresponding law enforcement agency. In addition, during the background check process, individuals may be identified as having an active warrant for their arrest.

Below is a comparison of statistics between 2021 numbers and 2022 in the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter PICS Statistics20212022
Total number of PICS checks conducted337,911321,664
     Number of persons denied5,3304,246
Total number of denials referred to law enforcement agencies1,3801,946
     Referred to Pennsylvania State Police329432
     Referred to Local Law Enforcement1,0151,356
     Referred to ATF36158
Number of individuals arrested for a warrant at point of purchase1334

Since the beginning of the PICS in 1998, they’ve been responsible for apprehending 3,109 fugitives, 91 of which were in 2022.