The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects a person’s right to bear arms in Pennsylvania. Many people in Pennsylvania exercise this right and own firearms of various sorts. People may own rifles, shotguns, handguns and other types of firearms. However, this right to own firearms can be taken away from people if they are convicted of certain crimes.
Pennsylvania law enumerates many crimes that will result in the person losing their right to possess firearms if they are convicted. These crimes include, but are not limited to, murder, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, rape, arson, burglary, robbery, intimidation or retaliation against a witness, drug offenses if the punishment was at least two years in prison, having three or more DUI convictions in a five year period, domestic abuse and others.
Some people who have not been convicted of a crime can also lose their right to possess firearms. People who have an order of protection against them are prohibited from possessing a firearm even if they have not been convicted of a crime. Those unlawfully in the United States also do not have the right to possess a firearm. Also, juveniles who were adjudicated of an offense that if they were an adult would have resulted in a conviction of one of the crimes listed above do not have the right to have guns.
So, as one can see, there are a number of ways that a person may lose their right to possess firearms. If you are not allowed to possess a firearm because you were previously convicted of a crime stated above, you could be charged with a felony for possessing one. If you are convicted of possessing a firearm, you could be facing lengthy prison sentences.
There are many people in Philadelphia who no longer have the right to possess a firearm. This is only meant to be general information and is not legal advice. Attorneys understand the law and the potential defenses to possession of firearm charges and may be a helpful resource after a person has been charged.
Source: Pennsylvania State Legislature, “Pennsylvania Statute section 6501” accessed on September 22, 2014