Monday, October 6, 2014

Have a DUI and try to buy a gun in Pa.? You might get in even more trouble

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2014 

After a criminal background check showed that a 34-year-old Montgomery County man was ineligible to purchase a firearm in Pennsylvania, he challenged the results, police said.
But a second check provided the same information, same denial of the purchase.
It turned out that Ryan McLean, of Pennsburg, has a 2008 DUI conviction, a first-degree misdemeanor, that prevents him from legally buying a gun.
While most people know that a felony conviction and involuntary mental health commitment makes an individual ineligible to own a handgun, many are unaware of a list of other offenses — including misdemeanors — that also bar a person from possessing a gun.
McLean, who police said was trying to buy a Springfield XDS45 pistol on June 7 at a Bustleton Pike gun store, didn’t know that.
Rocco Peronace (L) and Ryan McLean
And he’s now facing a felony charge for lying on required federal and state firearm application forms, claiming that he was eligible to make the purchase.
Under federal law, an individual is barred from possessing a gun if convicted of a crime that carries a potential prison sentence of a year or longer, even if the person is ultimately sentenced to lesser time or probation.
McLean had been sentenced to 90 days to 15 months in jail for the DUI conviction and granted house arrest, according to police and court records.
The same thing happened to a 34-year-old Elkins Park man who attempted to buy a .40 caliber pistol in July at an Upper Southampton gun range, according to police.
Rocco Peronace was also rejected after a criminal background check found him ineligible.
Upper Southampton Detective James Schirmer reviewed the gun application forms filled out by Peronace, and saw that he answered “no” to questions asking if he had ever been convicted of a felony or any other crime that carries a potential prison sentence of a year or longer.
But Peronace had been convicted of driving under the influence in March 2011, a misdemeanor charge that carries a potential five-year prison sentence.
So now, he like, McLean, is facing a felony charge of material false written statement for purchase, delivery or transfer of a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of unsworn falsification to authorities. He was arraigned Monday and released on $5,000 unsecured bail.
McLean was arraigned Sept. 22 and is free on $20,000 unsecured bail.
Schirmer estimated that Upper Southampton police handle eight to 10 illegal firearm transaction cases a year, and many individuals, such as Peronace, claim a lack of intent and claim they misunderstood what they were convicted of and that it prevents them from possessing a firearm.
Lower Southampton Detective Shane Hearn, who investigated McLean, said in the last month he has had at least eight other similar cases. In half of those investigations, which are ongoing, the suspects had a misdemeanor conviction, he said.
Crimes that carry a potential one-year prison sentence include third-degree misdemeanors such as disorderly conduct, theft or simple assault.
“A lot of these people don’t know,” Hearn said. “If they received a shorter sentence they think they can own a gun.”


  1. A felony conviction and even misdemeanors can bar a person from possessing a gun. In many cases, attorneys can provide you with names of past clients who are willing to share information about their misdemeanors. Let me know if you need any help as my friend is a Los Angeles DUI lawyer and can help you.

  2. I recievers ed a 2nd dui in 2008 & given 5 yrs probation. I would like to get a hand gun permit in 2017. Am I able to do this???

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  4. I completely agree with this law. If you do not have the common sense to not drive drunk than what kind of behavior will you exhibit while carrying a firearm? People need to be held accountable for their actions and atone for their sins. That's what is wrong with the country today!

    Faith Brady @ KHunterLaw

  5. Okay... question. I know that now I am ineligible to own a gun because of my DUI. Would there ever be a time where I could own a gun? Say after the 10 year period passeswhere the DUI no longer shows on my record?


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