While many people in Pennsylvania own firearms, certain people are prohibited from owning or possessing them under federal or state law. If you have been convicted of certain types of offenses or meet certain other criteria, you could face additional charges if you own or possess a firearm. It is important for you to understand who is prohibited from possessing firearms to avoid additional consequences. People who are facing weapons charges may want to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer at DiCindio Law for help.
Who is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms in Pennsylvania?
Under Pa.C.S. § 6105, people who are convicted of certain enumerated offenses are prohibited from owning, possessing, using, selling, transferring, manufacturing, or controlling firearms. After a conviction of one of the listed offenses, the person will have up to 60 days to transfer or sell any firearms in his or her possession. If he or she fails to get rid of his or her firearms, he or she can face additional charges.
The enumerated offenses for which a conviction will result in a prohibition on owning or possessing firearms include the following:
- Prohibited offensive weapons offenses
- Racketeering/corrupt organization offenses
- Possession of a weapon on school grounds
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter involving a firearm
- Aggravated assault
- Assault by a prisoner
- Assault by a life prisoner
- Weapons of mass destruction offenses
- Unlawful restraint
- Luring a child into a car or building
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Arson/related offenses
- Risking/causing a catastrophe
- Second-degree felony or higher criminal trespass
- Robbery of a motor vehicle
- Second felony conviction of theft by unlawful taking
- Theft by extortion with threats of violence
- Second felony conviction of theft by receiving
- False reporting of a theft of a firearm
- Impersonating a law enforcement officer
- Witness or victim intimidation
- Victim, witness, or party retaliation
- Possessing weapons or implements to escape
- Paramilitary training
- Possessing or manufacturing facsimile weapons of mass destruction
- Possession of a firearm by a minor
- Corruption of a minor
- Illegal sales or leases of explosive devices or weapons
In addition, people who have been convicted of similar offenses in other states are also prohibited from possessing or owning firearms under Pennsylvania’s state laws.
Other people who are prohibited from possessing or owning firearms in Pennsylvania
The following people are also prohibited from possessing or using firearms under Pennsylvania law:
- Fugitives from justice for any offense other than a summary offense for a moving or nonmoving violation
- Drug crimes with sentences of two or more years
- People who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution
- People who have been adjudicated as incompetent
- Undocumented immigrants
- People who are the subject of final protection of abuse orders that call for the relinquishment of firearms
- Certain juvenile adjudications that would have resulted in a conviction for an enumerated offense if the person had been an adult
- People convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence involving victims with specific relationships to the defendants
- People who are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under federal law
Under 18 U.S.C. § 922, the following people are federally prohibited from owning, possessing, manufacturing, controlling, selling, or transferring firearms:
- People convicted of crimes carrying sentences of more than one year other than certain white-collar crimes
- Fugitives from justice
- People who illegally use or are addicted to controlled substances
- People who have been adjudicated as mentally incompetent or have been committed to a mental institution
- Undocumented immigrants or people who are present in the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas
- People who have received dishonorable discharges from the military
- People who have renounced their U.S. citizenship
- People who are the subject of restraining orders preventing them from stalking, harassing, threatening, or otherwise placing a partner or child of an intimate partner in fear of bodily injury
- People who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence
You are also prohibited from transporting or shipping firearms or ammunition in interstate commerce or receiving ammunition or firearms shipped through interstate commerce if you are facing an indictment for a crime carrying a potential punishment of more than one year.
Penalties under state law
The penalties for unlawful possession of a firearm will depend on your underlying offense that led to the prohibition. For example, if you were convicted of an enumerated drug offense involving a controlled substance, a conviction of unlawful possession of a weapon is a second-degree felony. However, if you were convicted of a drug offense as a second offense while possessing or concealing a firearm, it is a first-degree felony.
People who are convicted of possessing or failing to relinquish firearms after being named as the subject of the final protection from abuse orders will face second-degree misdemeanor penalties. Those who knowingly accept possession of firearms while being under a final protection of abuse order will face a third-degree misdemeanor.
Get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney
If you have been charged with illegally possessing or owning a firearm under state or federal law, you should get help from an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Call a lawyer at DiCindio Law today at 610-430-3535.