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Illegal Possession of Firearms in Pennsylvania


12/7/2020

You should fully understand your rights if you were charged with illegal possession of firearms in PA. It would be best if you also learned about the possible punishments for illegal possession of a firearm. You face severe and life-changing consequences if you are found guilty of illegal possession of firearms.

Attorney Lauren A. Wimmer and her firm Wimmer Criminal Defense Law understand what is at stake for you. Lauren promises to use her extensive experience and fight hard for you and your family if you face illegal possession of firearms charges in PA. 

Understanding all of your rights and the possible penalties you face will equip you with the knowledge you need to make the best decision about your illegal possession of firearms charges. 

Illegal Possession of Firearms PA

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants people the right to keep and bear arms. The right is not absolute. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that individual states could create certain laws to regulate gun possession without violating the Second Amendment.

In Pennsylvania, the Uniform Firearms Act regulates who can possess a firearm. The Uniform Firearms Act also makes concealed carry in a vehicle or in public a crime unless the person has a valid PA gun license.

Can a Convicted Felon Own a Gun in PA?

The question Can a convicted felon own a gun in PA? comes up often. Pennsylvania law is clear about who cannot possess a gun in PA.

Section 6105 of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act controls who can possess a gun in PA. Section 6105 indicates that any person previously convicted of one or more specified criminal offenses cannot lawfully own, possess, use, sell, control, manufacture, transfer, or get a license for a firearm.  

Previous Convictions

A person in Pennsylvania could face illegal possession of firearms charges if they had a conviction for:

  • Offensive weapons possession:
  • Corrupt organizations;
  • Weapon possession on school grounds;
  • Murder;
  • Manslaughter;
  • Involuntary manslaughter if the offense involved recklessly using a firearm;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Assault by a prisoner;
  • Assault by a prisoner serving life;
  • Stalking;
  • Weapons of mass destruction possession;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Unlawful restraint;
  • Luring a child into a car or building;
  • Rape;
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse;
  • Aggravated indecent assault;
  • Arson;
  • Causing or risking catastrophe;
  • Burglary;
  • Second degree or higher criminal trespass;
  • Robbery;
  • Robbery of a motor vehicle;
  • Felony conviction of theft (second offense);
  • Theft by extortion if accompanied by violent threats;
  • Felony conviction for receiving stolen property (second offense);
  • Fictitious report of a crime involving theft of a firearm;
  • Impersonating a police officer;
  • Intimidation of victims or witnesses;
  • Escape;
  • Paramilitary training;
  • Firearm possession by a minor;
  • Corruption of minors; and
  • Sale or lease of weapons or explosives.

Convictions from courts in Pennsylvania, another state, or federal court can all disqualify a person from possessing a firearm under section 6105.

Other Prohibited Persons

Pennsylvania law disqualifies other individuals from possessing a firearm as well, including individuals who are: 

  • Fugitives from justice;
  • Have prior drug convictions;
  • Have three or more DUI convictions within five years when the person tries to buy or transfer a firearm after the third conviction;
  • Deemed mentally incompetent or were involuntarily committed to a mental institute;
  • Unlawfully within the U.S.;
  • Subject to an active protective order;
  • A delinquent juvenile concerning certain offenses;
  • Prohibited by federal law; and
  • Were convicted of illegal possession of a firearm during an active protective order within the last five years.

A Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney could explain potential defenses you might have for illegal possession of a firearm in PA.

Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Firearm in PA

The possible penalties for illegal possession of a firearm in PA are severe. Possessing a firearm as a convicted felon after being convicted for a drug crime or being otherwise prohibited is a second-degree felony. A conviction for a second-degree felony in Pennsylvania carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. 

A first-degree felony conviction for unlawful gun possession is possible under Pennsylvania law. A person who was previously convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm is guilty of a first-degree felony. Additionally, a person is guilty of a first-degree felony for possessing a firearm as a prohibited person if the firearm is in a vehicle or carried concealed on the person. 

A conviction for a first-degree felony carries a possible prison sentence between 10 and 20 years and a fine of not more than $25,000. 

Failing to relinquish a firearm or ammunition after the imposition of a restraining order is a second-degree misdemeanor. In Pennsylvania, a conviction for a second-degree misdemeanor carries a potential prison sentence of one to two years and a fine of no more than $5,000.

Know Where to Turn If You Are Facing Charges of Illegal Possession of a Firearm in Pennsylvania 

Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Lauren A. Wimmer relies on her extensive experience to defend her clients who face illegal possession of firearms charges in PA. Lauren represents people in state and federal courts who are facing serious charges. She offers you the individualized attention you deserve. Call Wimmer Criminal Defense today at 215-712-1212 to learn how Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Lauren A. Wimmer will fight for you.