While, generally speaking, Americans have the right to bear arms, the law in Pennsylvania makes owning a firearm illegal in certain situations. The law also calls for additional penalties if you use a gun to commit a crime.
The punishment for a firearm offense varies in severity depending on the crime.
Using a handgun during a criminal act
Under Pennsylvania law, you will face additional jail time if you use a gun while committing another crime. The judge can add time to the sentence for the original crime. In addition, you may violate federal gun laws for using a gun in a criminal act. A conviction on a federal crime will bring additional punishment for any offense.
Possessing a firearm without a license
If you own a handgun and keep it in your house, you can do so without registering it. If you want to carry your firearm out in public, though, you must get a concealed carry permit. If you get caught carrying a handgun without the requisite license, you will face a felony charge that comes with a possible punishment of up to seven years imprisonment. The court can also fine you as much as $15,000 per violation.
Some people in Pennsylvania cannot own a firearm or get a concealed carry permit. This includes anyone convicted of one of the offenses listed in the statute, a person subject to a protective order, anyone illegally present in the state, and a person flagged for mental health reasons.
You generally have the right to own a firearm in Pennsylvania. However, you must obey the laws related to gun ownership or face punishment.