Q: My ex tried killing my daughter and I by running our van over a cliff. I grabbed the steering wheel and instead we hit a parked car and totaled my van. They wanted my daughter to testify and she had a major panic attack and her blood pressure went sky high. So, they made us drop it to two Simple Assault and Reckless Endangerment and other charges. He also has three Protection from Abuse petitions on him in three weeks of each other. Will he get his gun license back in Pittsburgh, PA?
A: Simple Assault and Reckless Endangerment of Another Person to my knowledge are both misdemeanors 2’s. As such, if convicted, either would bar a person from possession a firearm under PA law and Federal law. I do believe an active Protection from Abuse Order will also preclude one from possessing a firearm in PA.
Q: I caught a minor felony like 8 years ago. I did a few months in the county and they let me out early. Do I still have this on my record and can I pay an attorney to take it off?
A: You don’t catch a felony, like a cold or virus. There were probably some events-mainly your behavior-that led up to the charge or charges which were followed by court proceedings. First, get your criminal record from the state police to see what happened in court if you are uncertain that you were convicted of a felony. Many of my clients are unsure of what happened after they went to court. Some think nothing happened to them and they got out of it somehow when in reality they pleaded guilty and received probation. Next, there is no such thing as a minor felony. It is like saying you someone is the tallest midget in town. The person is still a midget. You are still a felon if you were in fact convicted of a felony. As a convicted felon, you are barred from possessing a firearm under PA and Federal law.
Q: My 19yr old step-son who still resides in MY house just got two years of probation. His probation officer is telling him I’m not allowed to have MY firearms in MY house while he’s on probation and living here. MY firearms are locked in a steel safe and I’m the only one who knows the combination. Don’t I have any rights here? What are my options?
A: Obviously, unless you are precluded from possessing firearms under PA or Federal law, you may keep an entire arsenal in your home. However, if it is a condition of your step-son’s probation that he may not live in a home where firearms are kept, he cannot live there while on probation. This law is not directed to you, but to him. Your options are to transfer possession of the guns to another person, transfer your son to another person whose home is acceptable to probation, or, have an attorney file a motion with your son’s judge to lift this condition of his probation.
Q: I had four chargers and plead out to a simple assault. I got a 100$ fine and court costs all of which were paid in full and finished probation early.
A: If the Simple Assault was graded as a Misdemeanor 2 or higher (M1, F3, F2, F1, etc.), and you pleaded guilty to it, then you will be prohibited under Federal Law from possessing a firearm which will preclude you under the PA Uniform Firearms Act. If you were convicted of a Mutual Combat Simple Assault which is graded as a M3, you will be OK. You need to order your criminal history to be certain of what you were convicted of.
Q: I called the sheriff department explain the charge and told him I was denied a license to carry permit. Could I still purchase a firearm, he stated that I could. So, I was just following up on his statement, better safe than sorry.
A: Do not rely on police officers, deputy sheriffs and gun store employees regarding the specifications of the PA Uniform Firearms Act. Very few of them know the nuances of this rather complicated statute. If you have any prior criminal conviction greater than a misdemeanor 3 you are barred from possessing a gun under federal law and therefore barred under the PA Firearms Statute. If you are not sure that you were guilty of an M 1, obtain your criminal history from the PA State Police.