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Legal Information: Pennsylvania

State Gun Laws

December 15, 2023

What is the definition of a felony?

Throughout these gun law pages, we will refer to gun laws that make it illegal for someone convicted of certain felonies to have a gun. A felony is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor. Pennsylvania state law defines felonies in terms of degrees. A felony of the first degree is a crime with a maximum prison sentence of more than 10 years; a felony of the second degree has a maximum prison sentence of no more than 10 years; and a felony of the third degree has a maximum prison sentence of no more than 7 years.1

However, you cannot always tell if someone was convicted of a felony only by looking at the amount of time s/he actually served in prison since sentences are often reduced or pled down. If you are unsure if the abuser was convicted of a felony, you might want to talk to the prosecutor who handled the criminal case against the abuser to find out or go to the courthouse and search the conviction records.

1 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 106