Firearm / Weapon Charges
Firearms and weapons are highly regulated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The mere possession of certain firearms and weapons in Pennsylvania is illegal. Failure to follow regulations during the sale of a firearm could land you with criminal charges. Additionally, certain people are not allowed to ever carry a firearm, even for hunting or self-defense.
If convicted on firearms charges, you could wind up with a record that reflects a dangerous criminal. Your best choice is hire an experienced defense lawyer to protect your rights.
Philadelphia Weapon Charge Lawyer
The skilled defense lawyers at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC will fight for your liberty if you are accused of illegally possessing any kind of weapon. Prosecutors must prove all elements of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. We will question their evidence, how they obtained it and any other relevant matter, seeking to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Our skilled team fights zealously for the rights of gun owners. Call us today at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC to schedule a consultation.
We represent men and women throughout Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware Counties. We also serve New Jersey.
Pennsylvania Weapons Charges Information Center
- Prohibited Weapons and Sales in Pennsylvania
- People Who May Not Possess a Firearm in Philadelphia
- Punishments for Pennsylvania Gun Offenses
Under Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 908, it is a crime to even possess an "offensive weapon" unless you are a law enforcement officer or otherwise licensed or permitted to carry one. An offensive weapon is defined to include a bomb, grenade, machine gun or automatic weapon, sawed-off shotgun, switchblade, brass knuckles, silencer, stun gun, taser or any other weapon that is made to implement serious bodily injury and which serves "no common lawful purpose." You generally cannot successfully argue that a machine gun or other weapon is used for self-defense, even if that is your purpose in possessing it.
Possession of an offensive weapon is a first degree misdemeanor.
It is also illegal to possess a concealed firearm unless you have a valid license or are otherwise specifically permitted to carry one because your job (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 6106). While you can hide a firearm inside your home or business, you cannot hide it in your glove compartment or elsewhere in your car, in your purse, in a leg holster, or in an otherwise concealed place unless you hold the license.
Doing so is a third degree felony. If you would have been eligible for a license and have a clean record, then it is a first degree misdemeanor.
Selling firearms is a highly regulated business, and those in gun trade must be very careful. If the seller violates these procedures, including failing to heed the 48-hour waiting period, it is a second-degree misdemeanor. It is a misdemeanor of the first degree to sell a dangerous weapon, such as a gun, to a person younger than 18.
If you are charged with knowingly and intentionally selling a firearm to a person who would not be eligible to buy a gun, it is a third degree felony.
People who have been convicted of certain crimes may not carry firearms until a court has restored their rights after serving their sentence. Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 6105 lists the offenses. They include:
- Murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter if the conviction involved a gun;
- Rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault;
- Burglary and criminal trespass, if the charges were a second degree felony;
- Aggravated assault and assault by a prisoner;
- Certain weapons offenses;
- Any drug offense that resulted in a sentence more than two years; and
- Three or more DUIs.
It is also illegal to possess a firearm if you are a fugitive from the law or an undocumented immigrant, or if you have been adjudicated as incompetent, committed to a mental institution, or under a protection from abuse order that included a prohibition on firearms. This list does not include everything in the law.
Charges for this offense are a second degree felony.
Punishments for weapons charges include:
- Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine
- First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine
- Third Degree Felony: Up to Seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine
- Second Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine
Additionally, if you are being charged with any other crime in which a weapon was illegally possessed, you may be charged with both the crime and the weapons crime. For instance, if you are accused of robbery using a sawed-off shotgun, you could face criminal charges in Philadelphia for both the robbery charge and the weapons charge, and suffer penalties for both if convicted.
Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC | Pennsylvania Firearm Arrest Attorney
Weapons charges can be very serious, but you can fight them and win. A knowledgeable Philly gun crime lawyer from Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC can help you build a strong case. We fight for the freedom of people facing charges for possessing or selling guns and other weapons. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 for a free consultation.