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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone. I have a question about getting a license to carry a handgun and the legality of purchasing any type of firearm due to my past legal situation.

I turn 25 in 2 two weeks. When I was 20 years old, I was driving a car and stopped at a red light when an undercover police officer pulled up behind me with a blinking red light on the rear view mirror of his car.

To make a long story short, when he approached my vehicle, I drove away, which led to a minor pursuit. I stopped my car when a marked police vehicle joined the pursuit.

I had an unlicensed handgun in my car. I was charged with possession of the gun and eluding, both felonies. I plead guily and did some house arrest and probation, have not been in trouble since.

I was in the USMC at the time of the incident but that didn't help. My question is this: Will I ever be able to legally own a firearm in my state (Pennsylvania) or be able to get a permit to carry ?

A lawyer friend I spoke to advised me that felonies that you plead guilty to are not expungable.

Does anyone have more information on situations like this that can point me in the right direction :confused: Thanks.
 

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Why did you not STOP for the officer in the first place? That was STRIKE 1.
Then after you stopped, you decided to flee. That was STRIKE 2.
Finally, you had an unlicensed firearm in your vehicle. And that was STRIKE 3.


If PA is like most states, a registered felon CANNOT own, carry or handle a firearm. I'm surprised being a U.S. Marine at the time you would even consider carrying a gun for fear of what could happen. Which in your case, it did.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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I'm sure not a lawyer, but it's my understanding that a felon may not own a firearm and there is not statue of limitations. Sorry about the unfortunate choices, but please don't take the risk of carrying. If necessary, there are other forms of self protection other than firearms.

Dan
 

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noguns
Unfuortunately that mistake is going the haunt you for the rest of your life- You can ask that your rights be re-instated through ATF-US Attorney General , but since they have never funded it, I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It literarlyy takes a act of god to get it done!!!:(
 

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Noguns,

Indeed you've got an unfortunate situation, and as others have pointed out, getting that statute revoked or overturned on your behalf is well..... probably not in your lifetime.

However, there is another light at the end of the tunnel that you might explore. I don't know what the statutes are in PA, nor how the laws governing convicted fellons and firearms are administered. However, I do know that here in Idaho, there are a number of folks who, in the past have made some poor decisions in their lives, and like you are prohibited from owning firearms. They have managed to get provisions made through the judicial system to allow them to own, and posess black powder arms. They hunt with blackpowder rifles and shotguns, and a couple of them even keep cap and ball revolvers as well.

ATF doesn't classify blackpowder muzzle-loading guns as "Firearms" by their own definitions, through that, as I have been lead to understand the folks I make mention of in Idaho have used that basis of definition to let them be allowed blackpowder guns. I don't know if it's possible in PA, or even how they managed their posession provisions in Idaho, but in light of your situation it might perhaps, be a viable option.

Good luck, and God bless,

Marshall
 

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Marshall Stanton
Good piont !! Forgot about that one! Noguns look into it- need to ensure you have the law on your side before you get one!!! Don't need take make matters worse-good luck!!
 

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SOME states will restore civil rights, including the right to posess firearms, after a certain period, and upon petition. It's not automatic. The felony must be a state, not a federal, crime. I don't know which states will do this, never having been in the situation. Check with a lawyer.

DC
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies guys ...

My own research regarding PA Firearms Law found the following at http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws.asp?FormMode=Detail&R=PA


No person may knowingly or intentionally transfer any firearm to any person who is prohibited from possession. No Pennsylvania resident who may lawfully purchase, possess, sell, or transfer a firearm shall be prohibited from purchasing or otherwise obtaining a rifle or shotgun in a jurisdiction outside the Commonwealth. Persons convicted of drunk driving three times within a five-year period may possess but may not purchase a firearm. A person with certain disabling convictions that keep him or her from purchasing and possessing firearms may apply to the Court of Common Pleas for restoration of his or her firearms rights. Such restoration does not constitute a pardon or guarantee an expungement of a criminal record.
So it looks like I may be able to apply for restoration of my firearms rights ... probably after a certain period of time.
 

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When I was a reporter in Idaho in the 1980s, I learned of a case wherein a convicted felon had all his gun rights restored.
He had been convicted of felony embezzlement.
In this instance it wasn't a violent crime and, as I recall, it was decided that embezzlement didn't qualify for the prohibition against owning firearms of any type.
I can't recall the reasoning.
It caused quite a controversy among the populace, the majority of which believed that ANY convicted felon should not be allowed to ANY type of firearm.
I don't recall hearing that black powder firearms were exempt from this prohibition. I knew of some convicted felons who hunted deer and elk with a bow, but never heard them hunting with black powder firearms.
I'd investigate this very closely; it could be a practice that is simply overlooked by local authorities. It may not be legal.
 

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Indeed, observation well received. I only mentioned the black powder alternative, simply because I've known three different individuals who apparently had some stipulations in their particular instances, where they were allowed BP weapons... as I stated in my earlier posts, I don't pretend to know anything about how that came to pass. Also, as it's been pointed out, it appears that individual states handle the statutes in their own fashion.

As suggested, CHECK YOUR SOURCES, then RECHECK YOUR INFORMATION!!!

Hope you can give us all a good report!

Marshall
 

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Nogun
In Wash. State Felons can not even be around firearms let alone purchase one. My sympather isn't worth much but I have known alot of felons,[22yrs as a corrections officer] And alot of them have changed there lives for the good and could never figure out if they did the time they paid thier dept but for some reason there is no system designed to help them back FULLY into society. It's like no matter how hard they try they will always be looked at as a second class citizen. I have a close friend I baptized in jail and is now going strong in our church. He has led more people to Christ this last year then anyone else I know but because he is a felon [DRUGS ] NOGUNS. I guess forgiving 70 times seven isn't in the law booke or the RCJ.
Bob
 

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I believe that Marshall's "Blackpowder alternative" works in Maine also. Although, and I don't mean in "nogun's" situation, I wish that it didn't for some that use this loophole. By the way, every year the Maine State Police and the Fish & Wildlife Dept. cross reference individual's who have received limited draw hunting permits with the list of felons. Then they arrest them when they find them hunting! Several years ago they got 36 of them during the 6 day moose season.
 

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Nogun,

I AM a lawyer, and it is not the state law that you need to worry about. They vary from state to state. The Federal law, however, prohibits ANY felon, among others, from buying or possessing a firearm. That includes blackpowder. You might want to check with the U.S. Attorney in PA for a definitive answer, as that is the office that inforces the law. The new version is called Project Safe Neighborhood and has a very high priority with the White House to inforce the existing laws.

Sorry.

dclark
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Thought black powder (muzzle-loaders) didn't count the same as cartridge guns? After all you can buy them through the mail (if your state laws permit it).

Hmmmmm..........?
 

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There is a difference in the laws which regulate the sale of certain firearms through the mail or interstate commerce and the weapons that can be possessed by certain classes of folks. That is where the confusion comes from.

dclark
 

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Noguns,

Let me add one other possible option. In some states there is the possibility of "expunging" a felony record under some circumstances. I have NO idea what the law might be in PA and unless you ask a private attorney, nobody is going to volunteer that information. Your convictions appear to be for fairly minor felonies, so you may have an opportunity. I don't know, but it may pay you to ask a criminal lawyer about it before you quit looking for a solution.

dclark
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the replies gentlemen ... I don't need to run out and buy a gun tomorrow or anything but I would like to at very least have a shotgun for home use ...

It doesnt make any sense to me that an 18 year old gets arrested for a felony then 30 years later he still can't get a gun ...

I believe that where there is a will, there is a way ... as I posted earlier PA law states that a felon can apply for restoration of firearms privledges ...

In my experience, there is always SOMETHING you can do in these types of situations ... someone you can write a letter to, someone you can befriend, someone you can pay off...

I'm sure that if I were George Bush's nephew none of this would be a problem :D
 
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