The United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution make it clear that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. Pennsylvania’s gun laws are detailed and complex. This is especially true in Philadelphia, which imposes tougher gun restrictions than other areas of the state. A conviction for the possession of firearms can result in serious penalties, including jail time, steep fines, and the loss of your gun rights, in addition to a criminal record.
Philadelphia enforces restrictive gun laws that do not apply in other parts of the state. Due to the strict and technical nature of gun laws in Philadelphia, it is easy for even the most responsible of gun owners to find themselves under arrest for a crime they may not have even know they were committing. For example “open carry” is prohibited in Philadelphia, even though it may be considered lawful in other areas of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania gun laws are found in the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act. Certain statutes under the act pertain specifically to Philadelphia, such as 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6108.. Under this law, it is generally illegal to “carry a firearm, rifle or shotgun at any time upon the public streets or upon any public property” anywhere in Philadelphia. This makes “open carry” illegal in Philadelphia where it legal in other parts of the state. There are limited exceptions to this statute. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act prohibits possession of a Firearm by a Minor (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6110.1); and Possession of a Firearm with an Altered Manufacturer’s Number (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6110.2). Additionally, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6105 disqualifies individuals from possessing firearms who have been convicted of certain enumerated offenses.
Under various sections of the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, gun possession and related crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the facts of the case. This area of the law is extremely complicated and complex. If you or one of your family members was arrested and charged with a firearms related offense, it is critical to hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and represent you in court.
If you believe that you are under investigation, have been subpoenaed before a grand jury or arrested and charged with a crime, contact us for a confidential consultation by phone at (215) 563-9800 or email at info@NeffSedacca.com.