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Instructions for Completing a SP4-197 PICS Challenge Form

The PICS Challenge Form, SP4-197 should be provided to all prospective firearms customers and license to carry applicants who have been denied by PICS. The dealer/sheriff/chief of police should advise the applicant that no information will be discussed by phone regarding denials.

Upon receipt of a "properly executed" challenge form SP4-197, an initial written response will be mailed to the challenger within 5 business days of receipt of the challenge. Pursuant to Act 131 provisions which became effective on 10/17/2008, a final determination will be provided to the challenger within 60 days of receipt of the challenge.  Faxed copies of a challenge form will not be accepted. All challenges submitted for processing must have an original signature from the challenger.  18 Pa. C.S. ยง6111.1 (e) provides that challenges must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the denial.


In order for a challenge form to be considered "properly executed", all four (4) pages of the form must be submitted. Parts I, II, and III on page 1 of the challenge form must be completed by the challenger and page 4 must be signed and dated by the challenger. If all information is not completed, the form is returned to the challenger, delaying the processing of the challenge.


This form may be duplicated as needed. When duplicating this form, make sure you have all four pages stapled together. This should eliminate the problem of individuals not receiving complete challenge forms. It is acceptable to duplicate on both sides of a page, using only two papers for the 4 page challenge, or to duplicate on one side only, using four pieces of paper for the complete challenge form.

Challenge to a denial as the result of a Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) background records check must be completed and submitted within 30 days to:

Pennsylvania State Police, Firearms Division-PICS
1800 Elmerton Avenue,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110

Any denial not based on a PICS background records check should not be submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police.

Please type or print clearly with blue or black ink. ALL CHALLENGES SUBMITTED MUST BE LEGIBLE AND SIGNED AND DATED BY THE APPLICANT OR THEY WILL BE RETURNED.  Please include copies of any information you may have regarding dispositions on old arrest records, etc., which would be helpful in expediting the processing of your file.