Gun Ownership Law

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  (U.S. Const. Amend. II).

Likewise, the Pennsylvania Constitution provides that “The right of the citizens to bear arms in the defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”  (Pennsylvania Constitution, Art. I, §21).

This essential right to a free society, born of the blood shed by our forefathers, was recently reconfirmed by the United States Supreme Court in the District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008) and it is also recognized and respected by the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Pennsylvania legislature through Pennsylvania statute.  In Pennsylvania, the state legislature has preempted all regulation of firearms through the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act. 18 Pa.C.S. §6120.  See also Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152 (Pa. 1996).

However, these rights are under constant assault from the forces of the statists who desire to grab our guns and the media that shamelessly panders to special interest groups seeking to portray responsible firearm ownership as the source of crime.  Indeed, irresponsible city, county and municipal governments have ignored the clear law they are duty bound to uphold and have set about an illegal agenda to enact various ordinances purporting to regulate firearms in violation of Pennsylvania law.

If you have been charged with violation of a city, county or municipal ordinance purporting to relate to the ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or ammunition components when carried or transported for the purposes not prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, make the right call to Fowkes Rodkey for a free consultation regarding your firearm rights.

In addition, Pennsylvania is a right to carry state.  This means that generally the Sheriff of a county must issue a citizen a permit to carry a concealed firearm upon proper application unless:

a.    the applicant has been convicted of one or more of the “Prohibited Offenses” defined in 18 Pa.C.S.§ 6105(b); or

b.    the applicant:

1.    is a fugitive from justice; or

2.    has been convicted of an offense under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (PL 233, No. 64) punishable by imprisonment exceeding two years; or

3.    has been convicted three times for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance (75 Pa.C.S. § 3731) within a five-year period; or

4.    has been adjudicated as an incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution for treatment under §302, 303, or 304 under the Mental Health Procedures Act (PL 817, No. 143); or

5.    is an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or

6.    is the subject of an active protection from abuse order issued pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 relating to relief; or

7.    was adjudicated delinquent (with conditions specified in the UFA). (With certain exceptions and time expirations); or

c.    the applicant meets certain conditions under federal law as applied to Pennsylvania such as being under indictment for, or conviction of a misdemeanor offense for which the maximum prison term may exceed two years or a felony if the maximum prison term exceeds one year.

If you believe that a county sheriff is unlawfully denied you a permit or you have questions about the conditions that may disqualify you from obtaining a license to carry concealed weapon, make the right call to Fowkes Rodkey.