In Pennsylvania, you can carry a gun on a train, subway or bus — but not a Christmas tree

A SEPTA bus.
Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When police officers arrived at the house in Cedar Park Wednesday afternoon, they found 29-year-old Maurice Louis inside, naked, drinking from a bottle of vodka. A rifle case was left on the floor.

Soon thereafter, he admitted to killing his mother, stepfather, and two young stepbrothers that morning. He even showed police where the bodies were.

A day before the horrific West Philly shooting, Louis bought the shotgun and carried it home in a long, black bag on the El — all of which was completely legal.

Not only did Louis purchase the firearm legally, but Pennsylvania law states it is legal to carry a gun on public transit.

According to a SEPTA spokesman, SEPTA’s modes of transportation are considered public spaces, therefore the transit agency is not allowed to prohibit guns on its subways, buses or trolleys, per state gun laws.

It can, however, prohibit toy guns, bleach, bows and arrows, and scissors. Among other items prohibited on SEPTA: wearing masks or helmets, and carrying a Christmas tree.

Yes, really.

SEPTA may not be able to determine state gun laws, but it can make its own rules when it comes to oversized firs.

Even if a SEPTA Transit Police officer sees you carrying a gun, they can’t take it away due to stop-and-frisk laws. They can only ask to see your permit and can question you on the ride.


Editor's note: This story was updated on Nov. 1 at 6:20 p.m.