Federal and State Gun and Drug Possession Laws
Aggressive Gun & Drug Defense Attorney in Harrisburg
Pennsylvania’s state gun laws allow for open carry of guns and concealed carry with a valid license. However, your right to carry will be severely impacted if you have been convicted of a drug possession offense, even if it is a minor charge. If you have questions about your state and federal right to carry a gun following a drug possession conviction, do not hesitate to contact EKHP Law, LLC for experienced legal guidance.
Gun Possession Laws
In Pennsylvania, a person can "open carry" a gun, such as wearing it in a holster without a license (except in Philadelphia). To carry a concealed weapon, however, you must first obtain a License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) permit through the county office where you reside, and you must be at least 21 years of age to apply for such a license.
Note that you cannot purchase a firearm in Pennsylvania if you:
- Have been convicted of a violent crime (felony or misdemeanor)
- Have been convicted of drug or controlled substance crimes
- Are an undocumented immigrant
- Are declared mentally ill by the court
- Are under 18 years old
- Are a drug or alcohol addict
- Are a fugitive from justice
- Have been convicted of 3 separate DUI charges within a 5-year period
- Are subject to an active protection from abuse order
Weapons considered illegal in the state are machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, firearms specially made for concealment or silent discharge, and altered manufacturer's numbers. The National Firearms Act (NFA) also places federal restrictions on the sale or possession of short-barreled shotguns, machine guns, and silencers.
Drug Possession Affecting Gun Rights
Individuals convicted of certain drug or controlled substance crimes under Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act are prohibited from possessing firearms in the state. Even the most minor misdemeanor drug convictions will prevent you from obtaining a concealed carry permit or results in your permit being revoked. As a result, it is very important that you are aware of the drugs criminalized by the state if you are concerned about the status of your gun rights.
Possession and Sale of Cocaine
Federal and most other states treat cocaine as a more serious illicit drug than marijuana, and Pennsylvania cocaine laws are rather strict. The possession of a misdemeanor amount can carry 1 year and/or $5,000 in fines. A subsequent offense can result in up to 3 years and/or a $25,000 fine.
Pennsylvania classifies opiates and other hard drugs as Schedule I drugs, which have the highest potential for abuse and carry heavy criminal penalties. Federal charges may apply if crimes involve multiple states.
Under Pennsylvania heroin laws, simple possession of less than 1 gram of heroin is charged as a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or $5,000 for a first offense and up to 3 years in jail and/or $25,000 in fines for subsequent offenses.
Federal law criminalizes the possession and sale of marijuana, even if it is medical marijuana. Possession of under 30 grams of marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days and/or $500 in fines. Possession of over 30 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or $5,000 in fines. The sale of over 1,000 lbs. of marijuana is a felony that carries up to 10 years in prison and/or $100,000 in fines or enough to recover the drug profit.
Contact a Harrisburg Attorney Today: (717) 674-2811
While state and federal law permit citizens to open carry and carry concealed with a valid license, your right to firearms possession can be denied or revoked if you have been convicted of a drug crime. Contact EKHP Law, LLC for next steps in the legal process if you seek to fight your drug charge or argue for reinstatement of your rights to gun possession.
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