Gun And Weapon Charges
Philadelphia Gun Charge Defense Lawyer
- Possession of a Concealed Firearm without Permit to Carry (18 PA C.S. 6106)
- Felon in Possession of a Firearm (18 PA C.S. 6105)
- Possession of a Firearm on the Streets of Philadelphia (18 PA C.S. 6108)
- Obliterated Serial Number
- Prohibited Offensive Weapons (18 Pa.C.S. 908)
- Gun Purchasing Charges (Straw Purchase and violations of 18. Pa. C.S. 6111)
Why Is It Illegal To Have A Gun In Philadelphia?
The most common gun charges are violations of the Uniform Firearms Act, which is possession of a concealed weapon without a permit. Possession of a firearm on the streets of Philadelphia, obliterated serial numbers, prohibited offensive weapons, and gun purchasing charges such as straw purchases and violations of 18 PCI 61 11 are also common…Read More
Philadelphia is the only “city of the first class” in Pennsylvania, and as such, it is treated differently by the lawmakers in Harrisburg. There are many laws that only affect “cities of the first class” in Pennsylvania, but for our purposes, we will discuss gun laws.
Throughout Pennsylvania, it is completely legal to carry a handgun, provided that you carry it “openly.” You may have heard of “open carry” in the media or news. Yes, it is completely legal to carry a handgun on your waist everywhere in Pennsylvania, except for Philadelphia. The lawmakers in Harrisburg enacted §6108 of VUFA (Violations of the Uniform Firearm Act) which makes it illegal to carry a handgun “openly” on the streets in Philadelphia. Therefore, the only way to carry a handgun in Philadelphia is to conceal it, which requires a concealed weapons permit. If you do not have a concealed weapons permit and are caught with a handgun, then you will be subject to §6106 of VUFA.
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It is an administrative headache to get a license to carry in Philadelphia, which fulfills Harrisburg’s legislative intent: to keep guns out of Philadelphia. It’s my opinion that the only purpose it serves is to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.
Types Of Gun And Weapons Charges
According to The City of Philadelphia website, “Philadelphia has the fifth-highest rate of firearm homicide among peer cities in the country.” As such, residents who live in Philadelphia have to observe strict gun laws compared to the rest of the state. The rest of the state of Pennsylvania does not have to abide by the stringent laws imposed on Philadelphia’s residents.
If you are a resident or visiting the city of Philadelphia, it is important to be aware of the gun and weapons law that is in effect. If you have been arrested for a gun or weapons offense, you will need to consult with a gun and weapon charges attorney in Philadelphia, PA. A weapon charges attorney will be familiar with the laws that directly and solely relate to Philadelphia. Therefore, it is essential to seek a Philadelphia, PA gun and weapon charges attorney who has years of experience in this area of the law.
A Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA) can result in serious penalties and a criminal conviction. VUFA was put in place to help distinguish between different offenses involving firearms and unlawful possession. Weapons charges can be a complicated matter. The majority of charges that stem from gun and weapons charges are accompanied by lengthy jail sentences and other harsh penalties. If you are facing a firearm or weapons charge, it is imperative that you enlist the legal assistance of a gun and weapon charges attorney in Philadelphia, PA right away.
If you are in possession of a firearm—even if you are carrying it legally—it would be wise to become familiar with some of the most common offenses that relate to VUFA and Philadelphia law. The following offenses are some of the most common in Philadelphia:
- Carrying a firearm in public streets or public property in Philadelphia: Under section 18 Pa.C.S. § 6108, the statute prohibits a person from carrying “a firearm, rifle or shotgun at any time upon the public streets or upon any public property in a city of the first class,” which includes Philadelphia. Only two exceptions exist, one of which applies to individuals who are licensed to carry firearms, and one that involves individuals who are exempt from licensing.
- Firearms carried without a license: It is unlawful to carry a gun on your person or in your vehicle without a valid license.
- Restricted individuals are not allowed to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms: Under the law, certain individuals are restricted from using or owning guns in Pennsylvania. Therefore, it is a crime for restricted individuals to possess firearms. Restricted people include those who have been convicted of aggravated assault, arson, kidnapping, murder, rape, manslaughter, and other serious crimes. It is also important to note that under federal law, people who suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse, veterans who were dishonorably discharged, and illegal immigrants are prohibited from owning firearms.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense related to a gun or weapons violation, it is highly advised that you contact a Philadelphia, PA gun and weapon charges attorney who can help assess your case.
Penalties Associated With Gun And Weapons Charges
Gun and weapons charges in Philadelphia can be extremely serious. Even if it is a first-time offense, a defendant risks a harsh punishment. Similar to other criminal offenses, gun and weapons charges can be categorized as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the violation.
Under the law in Philadelphia, the following gun and weapons crimes can incur the charges detailed below:
- Carrying a firearm in public streets or public property in Philadelphia: first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in a prison term of up to five years with a maximum fine of $10,000
- Firearms carried without a license: first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in a prison term of up to five years with a maximum fine of $10,000, or third-degree felony, which can result in a jail term of up to seven years and a maximum fine of $15,000
- Restricted individuals are not allowed to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms: third-degree misdemeanor, which can result in a jail term of up to one year and a maximum fine of $2,000, first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in a prison term of up to five years with a maximum fine of $10,000, second-degree felony, which can result in a prison term of up to ten years with a maximum fine of $25,000, or first-degree felony, which can result in a jail sentence of up to 20 years with a maximum fine of $25,000
As previously mentioned, gun and weapons charges will depend upon the severity of the crime. If you are experiencing gun and weapons allegations, it is not a matter to be taken lightly. An expert gun and weapon charges attorney in Philadelphia should be consulted as soon as possible.
Philadelphia Gun Lawyer
Gun charges are some of the most serious charges in the Commonwealth and generally have some of the highest Sentencing Guidelines outside of extremely violent crimes. If you or a loved one is charged with a Violation of the Uniform Firearm Act, you need to speak with Troy Crichton, Esq., an experienced criminal defense attorney who has had excellent success in getting gun charges dropped, downgraded, or beaten at trial.