Proposed New Gun Laws Could Mean More Legal Issues for PA Gun Owners

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 01, 2023 | 0 Comments

Several gun-related bills have made it out of committee and are headed to the floor of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for votes. They cover a range of issues ranging from gun storage, to background checks for private gun sales, to so-called “straw purchasing” to extreme risk orders that could remove guns from persons deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others. If approved by the Democratically-controlled House, the bills would move on to the Republican-controlled Senate for a vote.

Safe Storage and Gun Locks

One bill would require gun owners to use gun locks or secure storage boxes for guns when they are not being used. Penalties for violation would range from a summary offense for a first-time offender, to a third-degree misdemeanor for subsequent offenses, to a third-degree felony if the unsecured gun is used by someone other than the owner and to commit a crime where another person is injured or killed.

Reporting Lost or Stolen Guns

Pennsylvania gun owners could face penalties for failing to report lost or stolen guns if another pending bill becomes law. Violators could face a fine of up to $500 for a first offense, conviction of a misdemeanor in the second degree for a second offense, and conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor for third or subsequent offenses.

Background Checks for Private Rifle and Shotgun Sales

Another bill would expand Pennsylvania's background check requirement to include the private sale of a rifle or a shotgun. This would mean that background checks would be required even when one individual was selling their shotgun to another individual; at present, the background check requirement is essentially limited to handgun sales.

Removing Guns From At-Risk Individuals

Family members or law enforcement could seek an order requiring people deemed at risk of hurting themselves or others to turn over their firearms under another of the pending House bills. Individuals who failed to turn over their guns after receiving such an order could be convicted of a second-degree misdemeanor, and those who return or give a firearm to someone who they know is subject to an at-risk order could be convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor.

Gun Owners Need to Pay Close Attention

Whether or not any of these bills find their way into law, gun owners in Pennsylvania need to pay close attention to the many requirements relating to legal gun ownership in the Commonwealth. It can be easy to accidentally violate a state or city law regulating the ownership, sale, transportation, or use of a firearm, so it's important to have a working understanding of what your rights and responsibilities are as a gun owner in Pennsylvania.

Contact LLF's Criminal Law Team for Help

If you find yourself charged with a weapons or firearms-related offense in Pennsylvania, contact LLF's Criminal Law Team and the LLF Law Firm for help. They understand the sometimes-complicated firearms laws in Pennsylvania and have years of experience representing clients accused of a wide range of crimes related to guns and other types of weapons. The LLF's Criminal Law Team and the LLF Law Firm will help you protect your rights under the Constitution and the law in Pennsylvania.

Call LLF's Criminal Law Team today at 888.535.3686, or use the online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation with the LLF Law Firm Criminal Law Team.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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