Category Archives: Firearms

If not arrested how can the police take my gun?

Q I was at a dollar store and another guy was very belligerent and racist and  got into my face. I ended up walking away after a small argument. I have a broken wrist and have a titanium plate in my head and have seizures. I was at my car putting groceries in with one hand he came out of the store and was more belligerent and continued to be belligerent. He walked up to my car as close as 5 feet. I put my firearm at my side and he still did not see it. I just put one hand out and told him to go ahead and go about his business. Once he seen my other arm stop moving he kind of looked down and I had it at my side just for my protection because he was at my car and he was a little irate a little out of his mind. He run away. Everything was on camera he chased my car I pulled over at another store and ask them to call the police which they told me I need a manager first. My PTSD was kicking in if I like fight or flight so I back my car back up to the store while I knew a manager and I called the police myself but when the police came they were more focused on me. They took my firearm and gave me no paperwork. (Shenandoah, PA)

A: The police may be assessing the entire situation to determine if you should be charged or looking into your background. Based on what you describe, you were defending yourself and the other guy was clearly the aggressor. However, you have no idea what the other person told the police. You stated that you suffer from seizures and have PTSD. If you have ever been adjudicated as an incompetent or have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution under the PA Mental Health Procedures Act, you may be prohibited from possessing a firearm in PA. I would wait a week or so then call the police and ask if they intend on charging you. If they are not going to file charges, ask for return of your firearm. If they will not do it, hire a lawyer to file a motion to return property with the Criminal Court Motions Judge in your county.

How do I go about handling a fleeing and eluding charge?

Q: I was joyriding with some of a few old friends and state troopers had flashed their lights, but I didn’t see them until they were behind me completely. Once I had announced to everyone in the car that they were behind us, the friend in the passenger passed back a black hat which unbeknown to me, had a gun in there. So eventually I see an exit ramp and try to come off, but I was going too fast and lost control of the car and crashed. Now I’m and being charged with fleeing or eluding an officer, firearm not to be carried w/o license (no crim-violence) and reckless endangering another person. (Butler County, PA)

A: Lawyer up, immediately! Gun cases (Uniform Firearms Act) are taken seriously by the DA and not often bargained down. There is always reasonable doubt for an attorney to work with when there is a gun or drugs found in a car with multiple occupants. You need a good attorney to develop that “black hat” defense. It will be easier for everyone in the car if someone admits to possessing the gun. A good attorney may be able to spin the fleeing and eluding into a summary traffic offense like reckless driving or careless, but it will be a challenge. You need to hire a private attorney or sign up with the PD, now.

Can I obtain a gun permit with a Simple Assault on my record?

Q: I have a domestic simple assault from Arnold, PA. I live in Oil City, PA now. Can get a handgun if this happened in 1995? I have not had any arrest or anything sense and never been in any other trouble in my life all but that one time. I want to get a hand gun for hunting but need to get past the background check and this simple assault is kind of holding me up. (Oil City, PA)

A:  If you were convicted, unless your simple assault was a mutual combat M3, you cannot get a license to carry nor can you own or possess guns. I would check to see if you were actually convicted by obtaining your criminal history from the PA State Police. If you were not convicted, the arrest record will be on file and may prevent a permit being issued to you or a gun being sold to you. If you were not convicted, you can expunge the arrest record and should have no problem obtaining a carry permit.