In Pennsylvania, not everyone can own a gun. In the hopes of reducing gun violence, the Commonwealth’s legislature has passed laws prohibiting certain individuals from possessing firearms. Depending on your situation, you could face severe legal consequences for breaking one of these laws. That’s why it’s important that you seek the help of an experienced attorney if you are facing firearm or weapon charges.
Convicted Felons Cannot Possess Firearms in Pennsylvania
According to Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18, Chapter 65, § 6105, it is illegal to own, use, sell, possess, manufacture or obtain a license for a firearm if you’ve been convicted of any of the following offenses in any state:
- Any offense relating to organized crime
- Possessing, using, manufacturing, repairing, selling, or otherwise dealing in offensive weapons, such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, silenced firearms, and stun guns
- Voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter involving the reckless use of a firearm
- Luring a child into a vehicle
- The possession of a weapon on school property
- Robbery or car theft
- A second conviction of felony theft or felony extortion if it’s accompanied by the threat of violence
- Rape, involuntary intercourse, or aggravated indecent assault
- Causing or risking catastrophe
- Felony criminal trespass of the second degree or higher
- Aggravated assault
- Assault by a prisoner
- Impersonating a law enforcement officer
- Kidnapping or unlawful restraint
- Felony receiving stolen property
- Intimidating or retaliating against a witness or a victim
- Possessing weapons or implements for escape from a mental hospital or correctional facility
- Possession of a firearm as a minor
- Corruption of minors
- Escape from official detention
- Paramilitary training
- Unlawful sale of weapons or explosives
- An offense involving facsimile weapons of mass destruction
Other Reasons Why You May be Barred From Owning Guns
§ 6105(c) also prohibits the following categories of people from possessing firearms:
- People convicted under the Pennsylvania controlled substance act or any other comparable state or federal law
- People with three or more DUI convictions (applying only with respect to the transfer and purchase of weapons)
- Individuals judged to be mentally incompetent, or who have been committed to a mental institution
- Illegal aliens
- Subjects of a restraining order for abuse
- Juvenile delinquents (until the age of 30)
- People prohibited from owning guns under federal laws because of domestic violence charges
The Consequences of Illegal Possession Of A Firearm in Pennsylvania
§ 6105 requires that a person disposes of their firearms within 60 days of becoming ineligible to possess firearms under this statute. After that point, if you get caught in possession of a firearm, you will face serious repercussions.
If you possess a weapon and are a convicted felon, are listed in § 6105(c), or have violated the controlled substances act, you will face second-degree felony charges. If convicted, you could face up to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000.
The penalty for failing to relinquish your firearms after becoming subject to a restraining order is a first-degree felony, involving up to 7 years of imprisonment and fines that could reach $15,000.
How a Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer Can Help
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we are dedicated to helping our clients successfully confront their criminal charges. The criminal justice system is complex, and having to defend against firearms-related charges can be a stressful time for you and your family. But you can count on your weapons lawyer to be there for you when it matters most. If you’re facing criminal charges, you can call us today at (412) 281-2146 for a free and confidential consultation of your case.