In Pennsylvania, residents can own firearms, as long as they are legally obtained. Owners are not required to register their firearms. However, there are strict rules that regulate ownership of weapons, such as guns, shot guns, etc. If you are charged and convicted of weapons offenses, you face serious penalties.
Common Weapons & Gun Charges in Philadelphia Criminal Cases
In this article, we will discuss some of the most common weapons charges in Philadelphia criminal cases.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
In Pennsylvania, even if an individual legally obtains a weapon, i.e., gun, they may not carry the firearm without a license to carry. They cannot go out and have the weapon on them. It is important to note that “carry” does not necessarily mean on the person. If the person has the gun in the car, that is still considered as carrying a concealed weapon. The only legal place that a gun owner who does not have a license to carry can carry a gun is in the home or fixed place of business.
Individuals who carry a concealed weapon without a license face serious penalties. It is a third degree felony. If convicted of possessing a concealed weapon, individuals may face up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
There are exceptions to the rule, and they are outlined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106. (2) (b) Exceptions, which are provided at the end of this article.
Possession of Defaced Firearms or Firearms with Altered Serial Numbers
Pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act, it is illegal to possess firearms that are defaced or have altered serial numbers. Even if the person carrying the firearm did not alter the serial number, they still face serious consequences. It is a second degree felony. If convicted, the person faces up to 10 years in prison.
Unlawful Possession of Firearms
If individuals have been convicted of a felony, e.g., burglary, kidnapping, etc., they cannot own weapons. It is illegal for them to possess firearms.
Help After Being Arrested for Weapons, Firearms and Gun Charges in Philadelphia
If you’ve been arrested for weapons charges in Philadelphia, it is best to consult with a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer. David Nenner, an experienced and top rated Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer, fights for his clients and always presents the best defense for his clients’ criminal cases. Unlike other criminal lawyers in Philadelphia, Mr. Nenner offers FREE initial consultation. Call 215.564.0644
18 Pa.C.S. § 6106. (2) (b) Exceptions:
1) Constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers.
2) Members of the army, navy, marine corps, air force, or coast guard of the United States or of the National Guard or organized reserves when on duty.
3) The regularly enrolled members of any organization duly organized to purchase or receive such weapons from the United States or from this Commonwealth. 4) Any persons engaged in target shooting with rifle, pistol, or revolver, if such persons are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practice and if, while going to or from their places of assembly or target practice, the firearm is not loaded.
5) Officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry a concealed firearm.
6) Agents, messengers and other employees of common carriers, banks, or business firms, whose duties require them to protect moneys, valuables and other property in the discharge of such duties. (Individuals carrying a firearm as an incidence of their employment are required to be certified through the Lethal Weapons Training Act requirements set forth in 22 P.S. § 44(b).
7) Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person, having in his possession, using or carrying a firearm in the usual or ordinary course of such business.
8) Any person while carrying a firearm which is not loaded and is in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair, sale or appraisal or back to his home or place of business, or in moving from one place of abode or business to another or from his home to a vacation or recreational home or dwelling or back, or to recover stolen property under section 6111.1(b)(4) (relating to Pennsylvania State Police) or to a place of instruction intended to teach the safe handling, use or maintenance of firearms, or back to a location to which the person has been directed to relinquish firearms under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm or to a licensed dealer’s place of business for relinquishment pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.2 (relating to relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm or to a location for safekeeping pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment to third party for safekeeping) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm.
9) Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking furbearers or fishing or are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take furbearers or fish or returning from such places.
10) Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually training dogs during the regular training season.
11) Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle, which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the United States or any other state.
12) A person who has a lawfully issued license to carry a firearm pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) and that said license expired within six months prior to the date of arrest and that the individual is otherwise eligible for renewal of the license.
13) Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a firearm under this chapter and who is operating a motor vehicle which is registered in the person’s name or the name of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which a valid license has been issued pursuant to section 6109 to the spouse or parent owning the firearm.
14) A person lawfully engaged in the interstate transportation of a firearm as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3) (relating to definitions) in compliance with 18 U.S.C. § 926A (relating to interstate transportation of firearms).
15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and the state under section 6109(k), provided: (i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for individuals licensed to carry firearms under section 6109. (ii) The Attorney General has determined that the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.