Earlier this year, a woman in Pennsylvania was sentenced to 1-2 years in state prison for owning a gun that another person used to kill a state trooper. After purchasing the weapon, she left the gun in the possession of a man who she knew had been issued a Protection From Abuse order on behalf of his ex-wife. He later went on to kidnap his child from his ex-wife and ran from state troopers when they were alerted to the crime. The chase ended when the man shot and killed a police officer with the gun he was given by the woman. The man was killed as well.
What are Pennsylvania PFA Gun Restrictions?
A Protection From Abuse (PFA) order is a court order issued to protect victims of abuse in Pennsylvania from their alleged abusers for up to three years.
Depending on the nature of the reported abuse, a person with a PFA issued against them is generally not allowed to possess firearms. Judges have the right to confiscate firearms from people with a PFA against them, but that doesn't always occur. However, federal law does require that someone with a protective order out against them cannot purchase a firearm while that order is active.
Consequences of Having or Providing a Gun with a PFA
In Pennsylvania, if you provide a gun to someone with a PFA, you can be sentenced to time in state prison, along with possible fines and legal fees. A PFA is not a criminal charge; it is a type of restraining order typically issued through civil or family court. Sometimes PFAs can be issued in conjunction with criminal charges in criminal courts. Either way, the gun restrictions associated with a PFA are usually only temporary. (If you are caught with a firearm while having an active PFA, however, the ban could become permanent.) Being caught in possession of a firearm while you're under a PFA can also lead to jail time, fines, and legal fees, on top of losing the right to own a firearm in the future.
What to Do if You Are Accused
If you are accused of violating a PFA or gun laws, the most important thing that you can do is to retain counsel to protect your interests. Follow the requirements of the PFA, and do not obtain any firearms. Do not retaliate. Instead, contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento. Joseph D. Lento is an expert Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, and he will help you protect your rights. Gun law violations are not something the law takes lightly, but Joseph Lento and the Lento Law Firm have the experience and knowledge necessary to protect and defend you. Call 888-535-3686 or go online to schedule a consultation right away.