Out of the charges that you could face involving weapons, the most common gun charge is one for possessing a firearm when you are prohibited against doing so by law. A gun charge is significant and may lead to penalties such as imprisonment and fines, so it’s worth taking the time to understand the charges and to work on a defense.
There are certain people in Pennsylvania who are not allowed to possess firearms. For example, if you have been convicted for:
- Corruption of minors
…or one of several other charges, then you may no longer be allowed to possess a firearm. Getting caught could lead to you being charged with a second-degree felony if you were previously convicted of a felony, like those above, in the past. A second-degree felony may be punished with up to $25,000 in fines and 10 years in prison.
What about people who owned firearms but who were then convicted of a felony?
If you owned firearms in the past but have been convicted of a felony, you need to get rid of the weapons that you possess. Failing to get rid of those weapons will violate the law and potentially lead to further charges.
Pennsylvania gives you up to 60 days to sell or give away those firearms, so that you do not violate the law.
What if you don’t own the weapon but are only renting/borrowing it?
The law specifically states that people with certain convictions may not own, manufacture, control, sell, use, possess or transfer firearms. This may impact you in ways you wouldn’t expect, such as limiting your ability to sell guns as a part of your legitimate job or from practicing gun use at a legal range. Don’t make the mistake of violating the law. You cannot possess, borrow, rent or otherwise be in contact with a firearm if you fall into this category of people who are limited from doing so.
If you do happen to violate the law, talk to your attorney. You may be able to defend yourself and prevent serious penalties.