Violation of Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA) – First, Second or Third Degree Felonies
Last reviewed and updated by a lawyer: June 22, 2020
For example, a Philadelphia resident charged with first or second degree murder will likely face gun possession charges as well, and a person charged with possession of drugs or possession with intent to distribute (drug dealing) will also likely be charged with VUFA offenses.
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In this free legal article, our Philadelphia Criminal Law Firm discusses the legal basis for three of the most common VUFA charges:
1. felon in possession of a firearm (repeat offense or possession of a gun at the time of the current VUFA offense),
2. felon in possession of a firearm, and
3. possession of a firearm without a license.
For reference, please click the link for specific parts of the Uniform Firearms Act, Sections 6105 and 6106, which are discussed below.
Repeat Offense, Felon in Possession a Gun or Firearm (Section 6105) – First Degree Felony
Under Section 6105 of the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, a VUFA offense can be a first degree felony under certain circumstances. Someone who’s already been convicted of a felony (under Section (b), under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act or under federal law/another state) faces a first degree felony if the person either: 1. has a prior VUFA conviction, or 2. during the current VUFA offense, the gun or firearm was on the person’s body or within the person’s reach. Section (a.1)(1.1)(i) provides:
A person convicted of a felony enumerated under subsection (b) or a felony under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or any equivalent Federal statute or equivalent statute of any other state, who violates subsection (a) commits a felony of the first degree if:
(A) at the time of the commission of a violation of subsection (a), the person has previously been convicted of an offense under subsection (a); or
(B) at the time of the commission of a violation of subsection (a), the person was in physical possession or control of a firearm, whether visible, concealed about the person or within the person’s reach.
Persons Not Permitted to Possess a Gun or Firearm (Section 6105) – Second Degree Felony
Under Section 6105, individuals who’ve been convicted of specific crimes are not allowed to possess, use or sell a firearm or gun. Violation of this law is a second degree felony.
Section (a)(1) provides:
A person who has been convicted of an offense enumerated in subsection (b), within or without this Commonwealth, regardless of the length of sentence or whose conduct meets the criteria in subsection (c) shall not possess, use, control, sell, transfer or manufacture or obtain a license to possess, use, control, sell, transfer or manufacture a firearm in this Commonwealth.
There are about 40 enumerated offenses in subsection (b) and include robbery, murder, manslaughter, rape, burglary, etc. In addition, it’s a second degree felony for an individual who was previously convicted of a drug-related felony to possess, use or sell a gun or firearm. Section (a.1)(1.1)(1) provides:
Except as provided under paragraph (1.1), a person convicted of a felony enumerated under subsection (b) or a felony under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or any equivalent Federal statute or equivalent statute of any other state, who violates subsection (a) commits a felony of the second degree.
Possessing a Gun or Firearm Without a License (Section 6106) – Third Degree Felony
Under section 6106 of the Uniform Firearms Act, it’s a third degree felony for anyone to carry a gun or firearm on their person or in their vehicle without a valid license. Section (a)(1) provides:
Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.
For more info, visit the Philly Criminal Law Library where you’ll have access to free legal info and articles.
Philadelphia Criminal Law Firm – Free Consultations for Gun & VUFA Charges
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