Section 6105 of the Crimes Code outlines who is prohibited from possessing a firearm, exactly what a “firearm” is, the defenses to this crime, and how the crime is graded under differing circumstances. (Generally it’s a felony offense.)


Section 6105 itself is lengthy, but what’s most important to understand is who it applies to. Under the law, these are some people who are prohibited from possessing a firearm:

  • A person who is a fugitive from justice
  • A person convicted of a drug offenses punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding two years, specifically under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act and any equivalent federal or state law
  • A person convicted of DUI “on three or more separate occasions within a five-year period.”
  • A person adjudicated as incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution for inpatient care
  • An alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States
  • A person subject to an active final PFA order
  • A person adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault by prisoner, kidnapping, rape, IDSI, arson, burglary, robbery, theft by extortion
  • A person convicted of one of the enumerated offenses under Section 6105(b)


It must be remembered that Section 6105 is a state crime. The federal counterpart to this crime is 18 U.S.C. § 922, and under federal law “any person who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” shall not “possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition.”  This includes persons convicted of certain DUI offenses, but this is frequently forgotten.


If you or a loved one is charged with the crime of a person not to possess a firearm, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, Ryan H. James, who has tried and argued these cases with successful results.  Attorney James can be personally reached at 412-977-1827, or by e-mail at