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Old December 30, 2014, 08:49 PM   #1
orpington
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Firearms legality question, Pennsylvania

If I own a handgun in Pennsylvania that is registered in my name, and teach my wife how to shoot it, and someone breaks in during my absence and she uses the firearm registered in my name to defend herself, what are the legal implications of this, if any??? Also, if someone breaks in and I fire at them to defend myself, what are the laws with regards to this in Pennsylvania?
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Old December 30, 2014, 11:21 PM   #2
steelerdude99
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1st off, although I no longer live in PA, PA does not have "registration of firearms". Of course, here is a link to the NRA-ILA site for reference.

http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state...nsylvania.aspx

Here are state specific guides (PA is in there).

http://www.gunlaws.com/books2.htm

I am not sure about preemption (where all of a states gun laws must be state laws). I web searched and could not find out one way or the other. A PA resident may chime in to say for sure.

chuck

Last edited by steelerdude99; December 30, 2014 at 11:23 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old December 31, 2014, 12:04 AM   #3
Jim K
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In PA the state police run the NICS check and are not supposed to retain any information, but they apparently do. Still, that is only for purchase of a handgun; there is nothing prohibiting any person authorized by the purchaser/owner (provided that person is not prohibited from possessing a gun by reason of a criminal record) from using the gun in any lawful manner, including self defense.

Nor is there any problem with using a firearm in defending yourself and protecting your home and property. In most parts of PA, it is fairly easy to obtain a carry permit, but that does vary.

Jim
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Old December 31, 2014, 12:29 AM   #4
Steve in PA
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1) There is no registry in PA. In fact, state law makes it illegal to even have a registry.

2) The handgun you think you registered is actually contained in a "date base" of transfers.

3) Since you are married, there is no ownership or transfer required between spouses. In other words, your wife can carry any firearm that was purchased under your name. And of course, you can carry any firearm your wife purchased under her name. In addition, the same would apply to any of your children as long as they too lived in PA. No transfer between grandparents and grandchildren either.

3) You or your wife can use any means necessary to protect your lives. All that is required is that the use of deadly force was justified. If I were visiting your house and someone was trying to kill you, I could use your firearm to defend you or myself.

4) You need to Google the laws of PA that deal with use of force, Title 18, 505 use of force. Too much info to type here.

5) Also Google PA's "Castle Doctrine" which has been included in the above law.
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Old December 31, 2014, 12:31 AM   #5
Steve in PA
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The State Police do not retain the NICS info, they illegally retain the transfer of your firearm.
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Old December 31, 2014, 12:38 AM   #6
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orpington
...if someone breaks in and I fire at them to defend myself, what are the laws with regards to this in Pennsylvania?
I'm not aware of any readily available source of Pennsylvania specific self defense laws. You might want to have a look at the threads An Overview of Basic "Use of Force" Law and What to Do after a Self Defense Encounter.

An excellent book on the subject generally is Massad Ayoob's Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense. Another good book on the topic of general self defense law is The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen, 2nd Edition by Andrew F. Branca.
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Old December 31, 2014, 07:06 AM   #7
orpington
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Yes, by saying registered to me, I was implying the firearm was purchased by me, and the paperwork completed to purchase it stated the serial number, make, and model of firearm. The standard paperwork for transfer of firearms. My local gun shop told me that the information with regards to firearm purchased is only retained for handguns, by the way, and it is not retained if a long arm. I am actually quite experienced with firearms, but have not completed many of these transfer forms, and try not to, as I tend to stick to mostly pre-1899 firearms these days. By the way, this was a 'what if' question that was posted because my wife just wanted to know. It is very hypothetical, in my case, as my wife has no interest in firearms, no interest in using them, even to defend herself, and has no idea how to load and fire a firearm, and, if she had to do so in a pinch, she would be unlikely to locate the applicable round for said firearm at that particular time. That is, she might pick up a .38-55 rifle and find a plastic bag with .40-65 rounds that were recently loaded, or, even find a percussion revolver, and wonder why there is no way to chamber a round.
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Old December 31, 2014, 08:37 AM   #8
Sav .250
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You definitely need to be educated in post ownership of a weapon. The how to, what if,
firing in self defense. What if you really kill somebody. I don`t believe I`d leave my fate up to ......opinions . As in telling the cops," somebody told me."

There are publication, state specific, ref all your questions.

If your an NRA member ,they post ref material in their mag ( American Rifleman) on
occasion. If your not a member.................you should be!

Owning a weapon is one thing........... Knowing the laws is on you. J s/n.
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Old December 31, 2014, 01:00 PM   #9
Steve in PA
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My wife can use or carry any firearm that "I" purchased, just as I can use or carry any firearm "she" purchased.

Go here, read Chapter 5, especially 505. It will tell you everything you need to know and justification for protecting yourself.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...ype=HTM&ttl=18
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Old December 31, 2014, 01:07 PM   #10
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in PA
...Go here, read Chapter 5, especially 505. It will tell you everything you need to know and justification for protecting yourself.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...ype=HTM&ttl=18
Actually it won't. Those are the relevant statutes, and they are an important part of the answer. But there is also the questions of what those statutes mean in terms real life, fact situations and how the concepts set out in those statutes are applied by courts. And to understand the answers to those sorts of questions, one needs to look at applicable case law
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