When can a person who has been convicted of a crime possess a firearm? This question has been asked of me a few times, by people who were gun owners and who are wondering if they still might be permitted to own a gun.
The Pennsylvania Code states that it is unlawful for a person to possess a gun if they have convicted of any felony under the Controlled Substance Act, if there is a protective order against the person, or if one accepts a firearm from a person who is the subject of a protective order. Additionally, the code specifically prohibits gun ownership or possession by persons convicted of certain crimes. These crimes include:
– §911 (relating to corrupt organizations)
– §912 (relating to possession on school property)
– Voluntary Manslaughter
– Involuntary Manslaughter if done recklessly using a firearm
– Aggravated Assault
– Luring a Child
The statute elaborates, and you can read the full list under 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6105(b). Interestingly, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has found that conviction of attempt under burglary is not sufficient to prevent you from owning a gun, because attempt was not an included offense in the state for burglary. Theoretically then, any statute which did not include attempt and the attempt statute was not included under this list, would not be a conviction which would prevent ownership or possession of a gun.
Wyoming Statute §6-8-102 prohibit use or possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent felony or attempt to commit a violent felony. This statute specifically includes interference with a peace officer as being sufficient to prohibit possession of a firearm. Whether a felony is violent is sometimes defined in the convicting statute but generally it is not. It is usually obvious if a person was convicted of a violent felony or attempted a violent felony, but if you are unsure, you should confer with an attorney before purchasing or using a firearm.