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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2014 10:51 AM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Title 18 - Firearms-related Amendments
These three pieces of legislation would amend Title 18 and help keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

Document #1

Introduced as SB1099

Description: Formerly Senate Bill 434, the first bill would require an individual to serve a mandatory minimum one-year sentence for unlawfully carrying firearms without a license on their person or in a vehicle.  The amendment would not affect those citizens who maintain firearms in their home or place of business. 

Document #2

Introduced as SB1101

The second piece (former SB 431) would temporarily bar those charged with violent felonies from purchasing or possessing firearms. Presently, 18 Pa.C.S. §6105 requires that a person be “convicted” of a disabling offense before they can be prevented from buying or having a gun.  Witness intimidation and retaliation is a growing problem, and many victims of violent crime are already reluctant to come to court.  This measure would temporarily bar those awaiting trial for serious violent offenses from purchasing or possessing firearms during the pendency of the proceedings.  If they are acquitted, the bar would automatically be lifted. 

Document #3

Introduced as SB1098

The third bill (Senate Bill 432) would correct disparate treatment of juvenile adjudications. Currently, Title 18 (18 Pa.C.S. §6105) prohibits adults convicted of serious offenses listed in subsection (b) or for a drug felony from possessing or purchasing firearms. Adults with juvenile adjudications for the same offenses are treated much differently.  Unfortunately, many adults commit such offenses before the age of 18 and are arrested and adjudicated for doing so.  Adults with juvenile adjudications for drug offenses, no matter the amount of such offenses, are not prohibited by section 6105 from purchasing or possessing firearms.  Adjudicated drug dealing juveniles who turn 21 thus become prime recruits to straw purchase and supply drug organizations with firearms.  This proposal would correct the disparate treatment in 6105 of adult convictions and juvenile adjudications for the same offenses, while maintaining the lapsing provision for less serious offenses.