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Convicted felon turns in found gun, but gets charged anyway

Pennsylvania law and federal law both prohibit a felon from possessing a firearm. Now, we are seeing a news story indicating that a convicted felon faces Pennsylvania weapons charges even after he voluntarily turned a handgun that he found by the side of a road in to police.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently ran a story detailing the strange case. According to the paper, the man, who served jail time in 2006 on burglary charges, found a .22-caliber handgun along a road while he was looking for aluminum cans, cans that he exchanges for cash to supplement his income.

The man turned the gun into the South Greensburg Police Department in May after finding it in April. He told the Tribune-Review that he briefly contemplated trying to sell the gun. However, he decided against that plan, he told the paper, because he did not want to commit another crime.

Police, though, have charged the man with receiving stolen property, the handgun had been reported stolen, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He faces a potential three years in prison because of these charges. The man has since rejected a proposed plea bargain of 11-and-a-half to 23 months in jail, the Tribune-Review reported.

The man rejected this agreement because, he says, he has done nothing to deserve any prison time.

It is not certain how the case will turn out, and the Tribune-Review was unable to get any comment from the charging officer in this case. Nevertheless, this story does show how seriously municipalities are taking gun possession today.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Murrysville felon hands in gun, gets charged," Paul Peirce, Aug. 24, 2011

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