Pennsylvania’s gun laws are among the strictest in the country. The laws are particularly strict in Philadelphia, which is why it’s one of the most violent cities in the country according to criminologists and crime statistics. Nonetheless, laws need to be followed. Failing to comply with these laws can result in serious criminal charges, the consequences of which can impact your life in more ways than you can imagine.
Gun Possession Laws in Pennsylvania – What You Need to Know
In Pennsylvania, you do not need a license or permit to carry your gun openly. On the other hand, to be able to carry a concealed handgun, you need a License to Carry Firearms (LTCF).
Concealed Carry without License
If you are found with a concealed handgun (on your person, in your vehicle, or in any other way) without an LTCF, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and up to five years in prison. For the same offense, you can be charged with a third-degree felony, if you are ineligible to obtain an LTCF.
It should be noted that even if you have a valid LTCF, you are not allowed to have a gun with you when you are in a school, court, mental health facility, detention and corrections facility, TSA security checkpoint, and several other facilities where firearms are prohibited.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
Under Pennsylvania law, the following categories of people are prohibited from owning or possessing a gun.
- Habitual drunkards and drug addicts
- Mentally incompetent people
- People with three or more DUI convictions
- People convicted of organized crimes and violent crimes
- People convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence
- Subjects of restraining orders
If you belong to any of the aforementioned categories, and if you are caught with a firearm, you can face felony charges.
Possible Defenses for Unlawful Gun Possession in Pennsylvania
Depending on the circumstances, an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney might use one or more of the following defenses against the charges you are facing.
If the police did not have probable cause to stop and search you, your attorney can question the legality of the stop and search, have the evidence suppressed, and might even be able to get the charges against you dismissed.
If you did not know that there was a gun in your vehicle, your attorney might argue that you cannot be accused of unlawful gun possession, since you were not in actual or constructive possession of the gun at the time.
If you had the gun on your person, your attorney might argue that the gun was not concealed and you were carrying it openly – assuming you are not prohibited from owning a gun in the first place.
Facing Gun Possession Charges in Pennsylvania? Attorney Basil D. Beck Can Help You!
If you have been charged with unlawful gun possession in Pennsylvania, it is critical to have a skilled and experienced attorney on your side. Criminal defense attorney Basil D. Beck III has nearly three decades of experience in handling misdemeanor as well as felony firearm offense cases and has a track record of getting positive results for his clients.
A sole practitioner, attorney Basil D. Beck III can provide you with highly personalized and passionate representation and fight tirelessly to achieve the best outcome possible.
To discuss your case with experienced Pennsylvania unlawful gun possession attorney Basil D. Beck III, call us today at 610-239-8870 or contact us online and schedule a free and confidential consultation.