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Will a felony charge make me lose my gun ownership rights?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2019 | criminal law | 0 comments

If you enjoy hunting for sport or food in Pennsylvania but are currently facing felony charges, then you need to understand how a conviction could affect your gun rights. It is your responsibility to know if you have the legal right to own, carry and use a gun after a conviction. If law enforcement finds you with a weapon and you lost your rights due to a criminal conviction, you could face additional charges.

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, federal law bans some felons from buying or owning a gun, but state law adds to this list. There is a long list of convictions that will remove your gun rights. They include violent crimes, such as murder, rape and aggravated assault. They also include crimes related to firearms, such as making or selling offensive weapons.

Kidnapping, stalking and burglary are also on the list. Some higher felonies, such as second degree or higher criminal trespassing and receiving stolen property also remove your rights. You also could lose your rights if you have three or more DUI convictions, even if they are not felonies.

You can apply to restore your rights. You would do this in the common pleas court in the county where you live. You must wait ten years after your conviction. The court cannot see you as a risk to others due to mental health issues.

You should note that even if you take a plea deal, you will lose your rights upon conviction. It happens automatically. The penalty for breaking this law is usually a prison sentence. This information is for education and is not legal advice.