PA Firearms Laws & PA Commission on Sentencing Reports

 

Overview:

The statistical data contained herein is compiled directly from PA Commission on Sentencing records for the ten year period beginning in 1995. 

 It is our goal to examine the imposition of the penalties on criminals for violations of the PA Uniform Firearms Act (UFA).

This report reveals a disturbingly consistent trend in the failure of authorities to aggressively prosecute repeat violent criminals, while at the same time calling on the legislature to pass more and more controls on firearms that will ensnare unintentional nonviolent technical violators and rarely, if at all, the true criminals.  The excuses of prosecutors and

judges wear thin and undercut the expressed legislative intent of this section of law (the Uniform Firearms Act). 

 Prison overcrowding, judicial dislike for tough sentences, political transference of responsibility for crime, etc. are all part

of this crime dilemma.  The UFA was created under mantra of “IF it saves one life” and the banner of so called

“common sense”, “reasonable” firearms restrictions/regulations. However the ‘actual’ result is an overwhelming number

of infringements on law abiding citizen’s rights for the public good.  Laws have been enacted under the pretense of “feel good

 or “we have to do something” rhetoric.    

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

 -- Benjamin Franklin 

“You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the

 light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered”. -- Lyndon B. Johnson

“Pennsylvania has taken an important step forward in the fight to reduce gun violence.  Passage of the

 Fumo/Heckler Firearms Act will keep guns out of the wrong hands. 

 Pennsylvania now has one of the most comprehensive lists of prohibitions on purchase, sale, transfer or

possession of guns in the country. Statement of handgun control, inc.

 Chair Sarah Brady on passage of comprehensive firearms legislation. (Sp. Sess. HB 110/Act 17) IN PENNSYLVANIA (June 6, 1995) 

The flawed concept sold for public consumption is this: enacting ever more strict gun control polices will effectively

curb firearm related violence. Many new laws are enacted but few address the possession of or use of a firearm

 during the commission of a crime OR the accountability of the courts and prosecutors for those who should have

been in jail for committing these crimes.  Consequently a reexamination of our current firearms laws will demonstrate,

 as the National Academy of Sciences discovered in their recent study, that each is ill conceived. In fact most of the

current sections of the Uniform Firearms Act were enacted to prevent criminals from obtaining guns or punishing thos

e that do and use them in crime.  As these charts demonstrate, the laws enacted to stop criminal misuse of firearms are

circumvented by the failure to prosecute. Strong laws without equal prosecution produce two glaring results, both

of which are unacceptable: disdain and ignorance of the laws by the most violent predators among us AND the public

 is given a false sense of security that ‘something’ is being done.  

Plea bargaining:

Deals are often made by district attorneys to streamline prosecutions with the result that there ends up being a reduction

in charges or reduced sentences. Unfortunately career ‘violent’ criminals who know how to work the system end up

being placed on a fast track through the system and end up back on the streets to prey upon those that testified against

them or the unknowing innocent citizen.   Meanwhile, honest Pennsylvania citizens fall victim to technical violations,

activities that cause no harm and are perfectly legal in other states.   The following quote reveals the essence of the

problem (03/23/2008-Philadelphia Inquirer):

“In Pennsylvania and other states, police and prosecutors generally haven't made straw buyers a priority.

In Philadelphia, the police unit responsible for tracking guns is only now digging out of a 6,000-case backlog

caused by inadequate staffing. The delays got so bad that judges sometimes dismissed cases because necessary

 lab work wasn't finished in time.

And most of the state's 67 county prosecutors didn't file ANY CASES against alleged straw buyers in

2006 or 2007, court records show. (emphasis added)

In Philadelphia, Assistant District Attorney Albert Toczydlowski said his office rarely prosecuted straw

 buyers until recently, when the state set up a task force to focus on gun violence.

The unit is making about 10 arrests a month, only a small fraction of offenders.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia, who have the advantage of stronger criminal penalties, likewise file only about

20 to 30 cases a year. It's a matter of limited resources, a spokesman said.” 

This, is the Catch and Release attitude of “the criminal” injustice system that breeds and perpetuates

 violent crime.  While “Catch and Release” concepts work for fishermen it is a TERRIBLE policy for

 dealing with repeat violent criminals. 

Concurrent Sentencing vs. Consecutive Sentences 

Concurrent sentencing is when a criminal is convicted of violating several different sections of law and serves

 the sentence for each conviction at the same time

Under concurrent sentencing guidelines lets assume an offender has three different convictions being

5, 7 & 10 years in total. Some would assume that the offender would serve up to a total 22 years.

 INCORRECT!  The most they would serve is 10 years maximum sentence or considerably less

with the eligibility for early parole.  (Often times the 5 Year Mandatory for the use of a gun in a c

rime will be added, when it IS used, onto a sentence in this way so the record shows usage of

this section of law but the intended impact on the criminal is worthless as a public safety measure

Consecutive sentencing would implement the full 22 years maximum also with possibility of parole after

many more years spent behind bars.

The choice between criminals running loose on the streets or being incarcerated is an easy one.  How, is it in the interest of

public safety that our laws are ignored when they were enacted based on the need to improve public safety? How better to

serve the public interest than to sentence accordingly! How many innocent lives could have been saved if the violent repeat

offender had been serving their full sentence?

(Note the percentage of min. vs. max. sentences served shown in these charts).  

Criminals spending the maximum time behind bars is better than criminals running around loose on the streets terrorizing, robbing,

 raping and murdering innocent citizens along with keeping police out of the line of fire. How many lives have been ruined by

this “slap on the wrist” type of punishment? How many early parolees returned to the streets only to murder again?   

Concurrent Jurisdiction for Federal and State firearm violations:

Criminals convicted of Pennsylvania firearm charges can also be charged with similar Federal firearm laws violations because

there is concurrent jurisdiction in this area of criminal conduct.  This means that criminals could serve a sentence handed down

by a state court and then serve time in federal prison for maximum punishment.

Abbreviation key for Sentencing Commission Charts Columns below:

How to read the information on these types on sentence reports charts each column has sub-columns.

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

Number - numbers actual people sentenced under this section.

Percent - Next column is percentage of total number charged under this entire section.

Min – people that at least served minimum part of their sentence. 

Max - people that served their entire sentence by the court. 

Punishment “IF you do the crime you should do your time” 

Prison and Jail columns - people were convicted and served time for violation of this section of the law

(see min vs. max sentence section).

The other columns are only “Slaps on the wrist” for breaking currently existing laws. 

What kind of message is sent to criminals if they break laws without strong consequence for their actions? 

RIP – (Reduction In Punishment) – those who committed the crime received less punishment than the law required.

Probation - Offenders did not receive jail time for a particular crime whether the sentence was plea bargained

away by the district attorney, or the judge suspended their sentence (only to release them on their own recognizance

back on to the streets).

RS – (Rescinded sentence)  

**Special note

Any undefined offense under the PA Uniform Firearms Act (UFA) is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree

(Title 18, Section 6119).  A misdemeanor of the first degree conviction prohibits that individual from owning firearms

 for the rest of their life as well as anyone that lives with them.

Certain individuals are not permitted to possess any firearm, including, but not limited to people convicted of murder,

aggravated assault, kidnapping, rape, burglary, arson or drug offenses carrying at least a two-year prison term;

 individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution; illegal aliens; or individuals subject to a

protection from abuse order that prohibits possession of a firearms. 

 FYI

1st degree felony: up to 20 years in jail & maximum 25,000 fine.

2nd degree felony: up to 10 years in jail & maximum 25,000 fine.

3rd degree felony: up to 7 years in jail & maximum 15,000 fine.

1st degree misdemeanor: up to 5 years in jail & maximum 10,000 fine.

2nd degree misdemeanor: up to 2 years in jail & maximum 5,000 fine.

3rd degree misdemeanor: up to 1 year in jail & maximum 2,500 fine. 

Under current PA law, anyone using a firearm in the commission of a crime faces an additional 5-year mandatory sentence

(Title 42, Section 9712) that can be imposed on them if the courts do their job and sentence in accordance with the law.

Title 18 section 908: Prohibited Offensive Weapons

This section does not apply to law enforcement officers, or people licensed to deal, sell, or repair items.  This section is also

not applicable to people that are allowed to possesses any firearm or offensive weapon which serves a common lawful

purposes or is not prohibited by any laws of the commonwealth.

Previously convicted felons are not allowed to own any of the following items and most other non prohibited citizens can

 posses some of these items for lawful purposes and only under very strict guideline or specific laws such as the national

 firearm act.

There is no exception for bomb, grenade or incendiary device.

Definitions.-As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Firearm." Any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive,

 or the frame or receiver of any such weapon. "Offensive weapons" Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun

 with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge,

any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an

automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic

or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.

The intent of this poorly worded statute seems to be that any person who is prohibited from owning a firearm is also prohibited

 from possession or use of an electric or electronic incapacitation device.  A non-prohibited person may probably possess

and use an electric or electronic incapacitation device in the exercise of reasonable force in Self-Defense only of the person

 (very similar to the use of firearms in self defense situations). If someone uses one of these electronic incapacitation devices

 with the intent to commit a crime the sentence rises to a second-degree felony, otherwise it’s rated as a first-degree

 misdemeanor.

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

14

7.9%

12.6

29.5

40

22.5%

3.9

19.8

3

1.7%

3.2

95

53.4%

26.2

26

14.6%

178

1997

10

6.3%

9.4

31.2

38

23.8%

4.7

20.5

7

4.4%

13.0

79

49.4%

21.6

26

16.3%

160

1998

17

8.8%

22.8

52.6

51

26.4%

.

18.3

8

4.1%

13.9

97

50.3%

21.6

20

10.4%

193

1999

19

9.9%

12.4

31.6

55

28.6%

3.2

19.5

9

4.7%

8.9

90

46.9%

22.0

19

9.9%

192

2000

13

6.4%

12.8

32.7

44

21.7%

4.8

20.3

6

3.0%

19.8

126

62.1%

19.6

14

6.9%

203

2001

17

9.8%

17.9

46.2

52

30.1%

3.3

18.5

7

4.0%

4.1

84

48.6%

22.0

13

7.5%

173

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

30

14.4%

13.2

34.6

49

23.6%

3.8

18.0

9

4.3%

7.5

113

54.3%

21.2

7

3.4%

208

2005

24

10.9%

12.3

29.0

48

21.7%

4.0

18.6

10

4.5%

5.3

121

54.8%

21.7

18

8.1%

221

Title 18 Section 908 Convictions & Sentences

1528

Title 18 section 3903 (a) (2): Theft of Firearms

Theft of firearms is a second degree felony.

Considering the sheer number of firearms that police confiscate from criminals why are these numbers so low? Criminals only have

a few avenues for acquiring firearms either they are obtaining by theft (covered in this section), buying illegal firearms from other

criminals, illegal straw purchases or from illegal importation into the country.

From this table, CRIMINALS only receive jail time in 2/3 of the cases when convicted of a stolen gun charge as part of overall

prosecution. How can an individual who possessed a stolen gun as part of other ‘more serious’ charges walk away 30% of the time?

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

0

0.0%

.

.

1

33.3%

2.7

12.0

0

0.0%

.

1

33.3%

12.0

1

33.3%

3

1997

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1998

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1999

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2000

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2001

18

39.1%

18.9

47.8

8

17.4%

13.0

31.8

7

15.2%

8.7

12

26.1%

42.0

1

2.2%

46

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

48

31.6%

23.3

51.5

57

37.5%

7.9

22.6

12

7.9%

8.3

21

13.8%

34.5

14

9.2%

152

2005

68

31.5%

17.3

45.7

66

30.6%

6.4

20.7

17

7.9%

14.0

37

17.1%

27.8

28

13.0%

216

 

134

 

 

 

131

 

 

 

36

 

 

70

 

 

43

 

414

Title 18 Section 3903 (a) (2) Convictions & Sentences

 

Title 18 section 6105: Persons Not to Possess, Use, Manufacture, Control, Sell or Transfer Firearms.

This section defines the laws that limit who can and cannot have a firearm.  This is the largest single area of possible sentence

enhancements for punishment of possession of a firearm to commit numerous and various other crimes against property or people.

This is also the primary section that deals with convicted felons being arrested again for firearm possession.  Additionally this

section deals with people who have (PFA) protection from abuse orders against them

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

23

28.8%

16.7

39.4

23

28.8%

8.0

22.6

7

8.8%

4.1

22

27.5%

24.8

5

6.3%

80

1997

27

25.7%

12.1

37.1

38

36.2%

6.8

22.3

4

3.8%

6.8

20

19.0%

27.6

16

15.2%

105

1998

50

30.5%

18.6

47.3

45

27.4%

6.8

21.0

6

3.7%

39.3

43

26.2%

25.1

20

12.2%

164

1999

49

30.1%

17.6

41.6

49

30.1%

7.8

22.4

6

3.7%

13.5

42

25.8%

27.0

17

10.4%

163

2000

51

30.2%

18.7

46.5

59

34.9%

6.3

20.4

3

1.8%

9.7

31

18.3%

32.5

25

14.8%

169

2001

90

39.0%

20.2

50.3

69

29.9%

8.3

23.0

6

2.6%

9.5

36

15.6%

37.5

30

13.0%

231

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

243

44.1%

23.3

52.9

189

34.3%

10.1

22.9

14

2.5%

15.0

76

13.8%

44.3

29

5.3%

551

2005

244

43.4%

25.6

55.0

167

29.7%

10.6

24.1

21

3.7%

10.2

73

13.0%

40.5

57

10.1%

562

Title 18 Section 6105 Convictions & Sentences

2025

Title 18 section 6106: Firearms not to be carried without a license

This section does not apply if the individual has a valid License to Carry Firearms permit issued by one of the 66 county sheriffs

or the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Philadelphia. Also, this section governs how citizens can lawfully transport or use

firearms for legal activities such as hunting or target shooting at a proper range. Special Note: some law abiding citizens have run

 afoul of this section by not strictly following the unreasonably exact and limiting procedures for the transportation of firearms because

 they do not posses a valid LTCF permit. A law designed to catch criminals, also catches law-abiding citizens that unintentionally

violated the letter of this very strict law on transporting firearms making their action into criminal acts.  Considering the vast number

firearms that police confiscate from repeat violent criminals illegally possessing firearms or using them in crimes, either these numbers

are amazingly low or they illustrate the very real flaw in the judicial system to aggressively prosecute criminals under existing firearm

laws violations.

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

120

11.5%

13.5

37.6

311

29.8%

8.0

22.6

24

2.3%

4.1

448

43.0%

24.8

140

13.4%

1043

1997

187

15.6%

14.9

41.6

356

29.8%

5.6

20.9

39

3.3%

11.3

482

40.3%

29.8

132

11.0%

1196

1998

258

18.6%

20.8

48.7

462

33.4%

.

26.0

25

1.8%

26.2

530

38.3%

31.7

109

7.9%

1384

1999

320

22.8%

19.9

46.3

493

35.1%

6.7

21.8

23

1.6%

17.5

509

36.3%

33.3

58

4.1%

1403

2000

292

20.4%

21.1

48.7

498

34.8%

6.6

21.5

30

2.1%

8.6

497

34.8%

31.6

112

7.8%

1429

2001

324

23.6%

18.7

44.3

472

34.4%

6.4

21.0

23

1.7%

5.7

467

34.0%

34.9

88

6.4%

1374

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

271

19.4%

19.9

46.0

428

30.6%

6.6

20.6

35

2.5%

8.2

596

42.6%

32.4

69

4.9%

1399

2005

243

17.0%

19.1

44.1

410

28.6%

6.4

20.4

34

2.4%

6.8

632

44.1%

31.9

113

7.9%

1432

Title 18 Section 6106 Convictions & Sentences

10660

Title 18 section 6108: Carrying Firearms on Public Streets or Public Property in Philadelphia.

This section deals with the fact that no one may carry firearms on public streets or any public property in Philadelphia without

a “Licensed To Carry Firearms” permit. The select few people that are exempt, such as police officers or others are outlined in

the current legislation and are not required to have a LTCF permit.

In Philly alone, crimes committed by repeat violent offenders illegally possessing or using firearm in Philly is a very large number.

The number of prosecutions for this section of the UFA should be staggering large, yet they remain only in the few hundred a year.

 Why? Are the Philly District Attorney and the judges not doing their jobs?

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

71

25.1%

28.9

60.9

38

13.4%

8.4

22.0

2

0.7%

6.0

92

32.5%

29.2

80

28.3%

283

1997

72

20.3%

30.3

65.1

58

16.3%

8.3

21.9

4

1.1%

11.6

134

37.7%

35.6

87

24.5%

355

1998

72

22.0%

23.6

49.7

65

19.8%

.

21.4

0

0.0%

.

138

42.1%

29.1

53

16.2%

328

1999

85

31.8%

21.4

47.0

51

19.1%

8.2

21.3

0

0.0%

.

94

35.2%

30.2

37

13.9%

267

2000

68

28.2%

22.4

47.5

46

19.1%

9.3

23.0

0

0.0%

.

108

44.8%

29.3

19

7.9%

241

2001

53

20.2%

20.5

43.7

58

22.1%

8.1

20.9

0

0.0%

.

116

44.3%

32.6

35

13.4%

262

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

37

19.5%

16.9

41.6

44

23.2%

7.6

21.7

0

0.0%

.

69

36.3%

31.0

40

21.1%

190

2005

24

24.7%

19.8

43.7

10

10.3%

7.9

21.0

0

0.0%

.

42

43.3%

36.6

21

21.6%

97

Title 18 Section 6108 Convictions & Sentences

2023

Title 18 section 6110.1: Possession of Firearm By Minor.

No minor under the age of 18 may possess or transport firearms anywhere in PA.  Minors under 18 may use a firearm

while properly supervised by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or an adult acting with the express consent of the

 minor’s custodial parent or legal guardian while engaged lawful activities such as safety training, target shooting or

hunting. Any adult that intentionally delivers or provides the minor in violation of this section commits a third degree

 felony. 

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

1

10.0%

12.0

24.0

3

30.0%

2.6

23.0

0

0.0%

.

4

40.0%

30.0

2

20.0%

10

1997

1

11.1%

12.0

60.0

4

44.4%

8.1

23.2

0

0.0%

.

2

22.2%

30.0

2

22.2%

9

1998

7

21.2%

10.0

30.9

8

24.2%

6.3

19.9

3

9.1%

43.8

4

12.1%

48.0

11

33.3%

33

1999

2

7.4%

6.5

24.0

7

25.9%

7.6

23.0

0

0.0%

.

17

63.0%

50.8

1

3.7%

27

2000

2

7.4%

15.5

31.0

8

29.6%

9.0

24.8

0

0.0%

.

11

40.7%

28.7

6

22.2%

27

2001

5

12.5%

12.6

29.6

14

35.0%

5.3

22.1

0

0.0%

.

15

37.5%

25.6

6

15.0%

40

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

7

8.1%

22.3

56.6

18

20.9%

5.4

22.6

1

1.2%

6.0

44

51.2%

27.9

16

18.6%

86

2005

17

21.5%

12.3

28.5

14

17.7%

3.6

16.9

4

5.1%

13.3

25

31.6%

24.5

19

24.1%

79

Title 18 Section 6110.1 Convictions & Sentences

311

Title 18 section 6111: Sale or transfer of firearms.

This comprehensive and complex section deals outlines the procedures for the sale and transfer of firearms. Violations such as

straw purchases; (occurs when one person that is legally able to purchases a firearm buys it and illegally sells or transfers firearm to

 a prohibited person such as a convicted criminal) are specifically enumerated in this section.  No felon can possess or even live

in a home with access to firearms or ammunition. This section also deals with people illegally transferring firearms to people that are

deemed mentally defective, or for other prohibited people, such as those responsible for acts of domestic violence. This section

also requires that all handguns sold between individuals must be transferred through a licensed dealer with only limited exemption

 between certain immediate family members.

Violations of this section include numerous degrees of felonies or misdemeanors. With all these possible violations of existing law

in this section it’s really surprising how seldom no one is charged with the illegal sale or transfer of firearms.

This absolutely begs study and strict attention from all legislators. Apparently, something is wrong here, very wrong.

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

0

0.0%

.

.

5

33.3%

1.9

35.5

0

0.0%

.

9

60.0%

22.9

1

6.7%

15

1997

0

0.0%

.

.

3

23.1%

2.5

19.3

0

0.0%

.

9

69.2%

19.8

1

7.7%

13

1998

2

3.7%

10.5

24.0

20

37.0%

7.7

16.9

0

0.0%

.

19

35.2%

38.2

13

24.1%

54

1999

1

3.7%

9.0

18.0

6

22.2%

6.2

16.1

0

0.0%

.

14

51.9%

31.6

6

22.2%

27

2000

3

7.7%

9.1

60.0

11

28.2%

4.6

19.7

2

5.1%

2.0

20

51.3%

21.3

3

7.7%

39

2001

1

2.9%

18.0

60.0

12

34.3%

4.9

15.6

2

5.7%

2.5

17

48.6%

22.2

3

8.6%

35

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

3

3.6%

12.0

48.0

13

15.5%

4.4

6.6

7

8.3%

4.3

46

54.8%

27.0

15

17.9%

84

2005

12

14.5%

9.9

28.8

14

16.9%

4.5

18.9

4

4.8%

11.0

50

60.2%

26.2

3

3.6%

83

 

22

 

 

 

84

 

 

 

 

 

 

184

 

 

45

 

350

Title 18 Section 6111 Convictions & Sentences

Title 18 section 6112: Retail Dealer Required to be Licensed.

This section deals with the transfer or attempt to sell firearms without the proper license. It also includes all provisions of the UFA

and how their license is subject to forfeiture and extreme punishment for any minor violation of the UFA.  Note: the absence of

any real numbers regarding prosecution under this section; so much for the much talked about rogue dealers selling

firearms directly to criminals. Also worth mentioning here, is when these dealers are the real unsung heroes by directly combating

illegal straw purchases! Licensed dealers have the power to refuse a sale to anyone who they think is committing an illegal straw

 purchase act such as buying guns for a prohibited person or for another person to get around this law. It’s a real shame that in most

cases, when these attempted illegal straw purchases are occurring state police and other law enforcement agencies are too busy to

 investigate or prosecute!

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1997

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1998

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1999

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2000

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2001

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

1

100.0%

24.0

0

0.0%

1

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

0

0.0%

.

.

1

100.0%

5.0

23.0

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

1

2005

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

Title 18 Section 6112 Convictions & Sentences

2

Title 18 section 6115: Loans on, or Lending or Giving Firearms Prohibited.

Individuals are prohibited from lending firearms to anyone unless they are engaged in lawful activities such a hunting, hunter safety

or other specific firearm training programs. This lending prohibition also does not apply if the person possesses a valid License to

Carry Firearm permit. This also includes very strict rules on lending institutions using firearms as collateral on loans.  This section of

law is also ‘directly’ applicable to ‘Straw Purchasers’ of firearms because in essence they are loaning a firearm to another individual

and since that person will, in all probability, be a person prohibited from owning a firearm they will NOT have a License to Carry a

 Firearm.  This is another section under Uniform Firearm Act that is seldom enforced as the numbers below reveal. 

In TEN years an anemic ‘63’ have been convicted of this crime and ONLY ‘14’ actually went to jail or were locked up.

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

0

0.0%

.

.

1

16.7%

0.5

.

0

0.0%

.

3

50.0%

15.0

2

33.3%

6

1997

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

1

25.0%

3.0

0

0.0%

.

3

75.0%

4

1998

0

0.0%

.

.

1

20.0%

3.2

12.0

0

0.0%

.

3

60.0%

12.0

1

20.0%

5

1999

1

33.3%

12.0

24.0

1

33.3%

3.0

23.0

0

0.0%

.

1

33.3%

12.0

0

0.0%

3

2000

0

0.0%

.

.

1

25.0%

2.7

23.0

1

25.0%

2.0

2

50.0%

6.5

0

0.0%

4

2001

1

10.0%

6.0

24.0

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

5

50.0%

12.0

4

40.0%

10

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

0

0.0%

.

.

7

33.3%

1.7

7.1

0

0.0%

.

9

42.9%

16.0

5

23.8%

21

2005

1

10.0%

9.0

24.0

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

8

80.0%

24.0

1

10.0%

10

Title 18 Section 6115 Convictions & Sentences

63

Title 18 section 6116: False Evidence of Identity.

This section establishes a penalty for individuals who furnish false information, or offer false identification documents as evidence to

 purchase a firearm illegally. This is section links with section 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).

As a side note; the Supreme Court has ruled that previously convicted criminals can not be prosecuted for violating the section

 because it’s a violation of their constitutional fifth amendments rights against self incrimination. (See Haynes vs. US 1968)

So just to whom does this law apply?

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1997

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1998

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1999

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

1

100.0%

36.0

0

0.0%

1

2000

1

25.0%

6.0

12.0

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

3

75.0%

23.7

0

0.0%

4

2001

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

1

100.0%

24.0

0

0.0%

1

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2005

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

1

100.0%

24.0

0

0.0%

1

Title 18 Section 6116 Convictions & Sentences

7

Title 18 section 6117: Altering or Obliterating Marks of Identification.

This section of the UFA deals with the removal, altering or obliterating the manufactures serial numbers on firearms. Anyone

 found in possession of a firearm in which the serial numbers were destroyed or changed is presumed to be in violation of this

section and prima facie evidence of this crime and constitutes a felony of the second degree.  Again, notice the lack of any real

 prosecution for this crime IF the numbers of gun crime is as bad as reported by certain politicians.

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

3

5.9%

8.0

32.0

8

15.7%

3.7

20.3

1

2.0%

1.0

15

29.4%

23.0

24

47.1%

51

1997

5

8.6%

20.4

62.4

16

27.6%

4.9

17.9

2

3.4%

12.0

19

32.8%

31.2

16

27.6%

58

1998

4

15.4%

15.0

39.0

8

30.8%

8.1

19.9

1

3.8%

36.0

5

19.2%

38.4

8

30.8%

26

1999

14

30.4%

16.4

41.9

12

26.1%

7.7

22.0

3

6.5%

12.0

12

26.1%

41.5

5

10.9%

46

2000

19

32.8%

14.5

39.4

17

29.3%

7.8

21.8

3

5.2%

9.0

11

19.0%

38.4

8

13.8%

58

2001

13

26.0%

16.9

45.2

23

46.0%

8.3

22.8

0

0.0%

.

5

10.0%

31.2

9

18.0%

50

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

10

29.4%

21.0

45.0

14

41.2%

7.5

20.1

2

5.9%

3.5

6

17.6%

34.8

2

5.9%

34

2005

12

33.3%

18.9

43.5

9

25.0%

8.3

21.0

0

0.0%

.

10

27.8%

28.8

5

13.9%

36

Title 18 Section 6117 Convictions & Sentences

359

Title 18 section 6121: Certain Bullets Prohibited

This is one of the “feel good” laws that were passed to placate the public who were whipped into a frenzy by the media over an

 issue that did not exist.  The ‘true’ intent of these types of laws was to restrict or ban ammunition on a performance basis against

 Police body armor.  Confusing the uneducated public with technical jargon is a common way to pass laws that are based in a totally different concept

 and as an example the definitions of “armor-piercing ammunition” leaves a distorted picture of emotionalism to prey upon the average

 citizen’s lack of understanding.  Anyone that uses armor-piercing ammunition while attempting to commit a crime of violence constitutes

a felony of the third degree. Look at the number of prosecutions (or lack of them) to witness another useless law where the public has

 been lied to.

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1997

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1998

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

1999

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2000

1

100.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

1

2001

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

2005

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

0

Title 18 Section 6121 Convictions & Sentences

1

Title 42 section 9712: Sentences for Offenses Committed with Firearms (or Replicas)

This should be one of the easiest charges to convict any repeat criminal using a firearm. It could be used to get them off the

street and behind bars where the police officers and public safety is served best.

If during the commission of a crime, a previously convicted felon visibly possesses an actual firearm or a replica

(functional or not) that placed a victim in fear or their life or serious bodily injury. A mandatory sentence of five years confinement

without any chance for parole, probation, work release or furlough is to be imposed upon them. Yet by looking at the numbers

 below and comparing them to the actual crimes committed every year with firearms (especially in Philadelphia) it is apparent that this provision is seldom used against those committing firearms crime by the district attorneys or judges.

Why not?

 

Year

Prison

Jail

RIP

Probation

RS

Total

 

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Max

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

Min

Number

Percent

 

1996

451

100.0%

72.4

170

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

451

1997

348

99.4%

72.5

167

2

0.6%

78.0

186.0

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

350

1998

495

100.0%

77.5

173.9

0

0.0%

.

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

495

1999

705

99.4%

78.8

168

4

0.6%

75

150

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

709

2000

609

99.8%

83.1

176

1

0.2%

60.0

120.0

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

610

2001

408

98.8%

82.2

175

4

1.0%

60.0

120.0

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

1

0.2%

413

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

531

99.6%

80.6

174.3

2

0.4%

66.0

132.0

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

533

2005

424

98.6%

82.8

175.3

6

1.4%

63.0

130.0

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

.

0

0.0%

430

 

3971

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

3991

Title 42 Section 9712 Convictions & Sentences

The Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act was enacted in 1931.  Crime increased because of alcohol prohibition and the economic

 depression.  Tabloids and movies sensationalized the crime problem.  In response, Pennsylvania became the first state to adopt the

 UFA: model comprehensive regulations on firearms possession.   These infringements on Article 1 Section 21 were sold to a public

 that was terrified that gangsters like Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde might pay them a visit.    

 

However ‘well intentioned’, one law begat another until over the next 64 years – by 1995 Pennsylvania 50 pages of firearms law

 (in the PA booklet Laws Relating to Firearms).  In 1995 the Uniform Firearms Act was extensively rewritten and continued to

expand until by 2008 the state produced booklet, Laws Relating to Firearms, it has more than doubled in size to 126 pages.   

The laws are so complex, that the police and the courts often can’t agree on what the laws really require.   The numbers above

do not lie and paint a picture of indifference and apathy on the part of bureaucrats in the justice system that are unwilling to point

out the flaws and fix them.  The current cries for more ‘GUN’ laws reveal the fact that the current laws are NOT working for

whatever reason rendering them ineffective, or should be repealed to be replaced with new laws that ONLY target intentional

criminal activity.

Because of the separations of powers in the Constitution, legislators cannot directly interfere with the judicial branch and make

 them enforce the penalties prescribed by law by the criminal elements in our society. The legislator’s votes and actions

(good or bad) representing the people are public record in order to hold them accountable for their actions. 

The judicial branch are also elected public servants and their actions and decisions (or lack thereof) in aggressively

prosecuting criminals under existing laws should also be available, but is not at this time, to citizens and civic minded

organizations.  This would promote free and open discussion on the laws effectiveness and which ineffective or

unenforceable laws should be repealed and replaced with effective criminal deterrents. 

This would also help the electorate (voters) understand which elected official is doing their job and which one should

 not be returned to office.

Firearms have been around since the founding days of our republic, so they are not new to people. For most of that

 time there was a moral law of right versus wrong, murder, robbery, rape, stealing from one another has been illegal

since before this country was created. By not locking violent criminals away for violations of law we all pay a huge

hidden cost, especially the innocent citizens who pay, sometimes with their lives and surely with their peace of mind,

for by being the next victim of a criminal who SHOULD have been in jail.