At Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano, our experienced weapons charges lawyers are well-versed in all state and federal laws involving firearms. We know each of Pennsylvania’s strict regulations that govern weapon ownership.
With our significant knowledge of Pennsylvania’s gun laws, we know how complicated and confusing they can be. Gun charges are often filed with other serious criminal charges. Usually, if firearms are involved when committing a crime, other charges may carry tougher prison sentences and larger fines.
In other cases, people may find themselves facing charges simply because they possessed firearms. They may have committed no other crime, but become at risk of gaining a criminal record that can follow them around for the rest of their lives. We understand how to protect the freedom of our clients who face a range of gun-related charges, so of course, we believe it’s wise to have an experienced attorney watching out for you. There’s no substitute for actual courtroom experience. This is why people charged with gun crimes throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania rely on our law firm to help handle their complex cases.
What Are Common Guns and Weapons Charges in Pennsylvania?
- Illegal possession of a firearm – Pennsylvania does not require residents to register their firearms. However, weapons must be obtained legally in the Commonwealth. In addition, Pennsylvania prohibits certain firearms, including machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.
- Possession of a deadly weapon – This charge often involves other criminal charges, such as murder, manslaughter, or assault and battery.
- Carrying a concealed handgun without a license – In Pennsylvania, it’s legal to carry a concealed handgun, provided you have a license to do so. Certain restrictions apply for obtaining a concealed handgun license, including being at least 21 years old. It is also illegal to carry a concealed handgun in a court facility or on school property.
- Possession of an unregistered firearm – While Pennsylvania does not require residents to register their firearms, the state does have laws concerning the transfer of guns from one owner to another. Such transactions must be reported to the state. Other state laws sometimes apply when concerning the registration of certain guns for certain reasons.
- Unlawful use of a firearm – Pennsylvania has strict laws about when and where a gun can be legally fired. It is also illegal to carry a gun in public if you do not have a license to do so.
- Certain theft charges – The theft of a gun or sale of a stolen gun in Pennsylvania is a serious criminal charge. Such charges are classified as felonies and carry stiff penalties.
- Other criminal charges – The penalties for most criminal charges are more severe if guns were present and involved in alleged crimes such as robbery, theft, rape, kidnapping, and more.
What Are the Penalties for Guns and Weapons Charges?
If you are convicted of a gun charge in Pennsylvania, the penalties can be extremely severe. The penalties for some of the most common weapons charges in Pennsylvania include:
- Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit (Felony) – Up to 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
- Carrying a firearm with the intent to commit a crime (Misdemeanor) – Up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Illegally providing a firearm to a minor (Felony) – Up to 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
- Possession of body piercing armor (Felony) – Up to 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
- Removing identification numbers from a firearm (Felony) – Up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Whatever weapons charges you or your loved one face, it’s best to have knowledgeable weapons charges lawyers to protect you.
Who Cannot Carry a Gun in Pennsylvania?
There are a variety of reasons you may not be permitted to carry a gun in Pennsylvania. The following are individuals in the Keystone State who are not legally permitted to carry a weapon or a concealed weapon include:
- Individuals who have been convicted of crimes which make them dangerous to the public.
- Individuals with certain drug or controlled substance crimes.
- Individuals with a history of mental illness who have been judged to be incompetent or have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.
- Individuals with convicted felony charges such as murder, rape, robbery, burglary, and arson.
- Fugitives, or people hiding or escaping arrest.
- Individuals convicted of DUIs on more than three occasions within a five year period.
- Individuals convicted of certain domestic violence crimes.
There are other charges and individual characteristics which may stop you from owning a gun in Pennsylvania. It’s best to speak with an attorney if you fear you may be in trouble with the law for owning a weapon.
“How Can a Scranton Weapons Charges Attorney Help Me With My Case?”
Pennsylvania’s gun laws can be extremely complicated and often change from one year to the next. Even if you think you thoroughly understand the laws and can defend yourself, don’t go in alone. Most gun charge cases turn out to be much more confusing than one would suspect.
In addition, there are often many legal options available to you and other people charged with gun crimes. If this is the first time you have been charged with weapons charges, you might be eligible for Pennsylvania’s ARD program for first-time offenders.
The consequences of a gun charge are simply too serious to handle on your own, so you need knowledgeable NEPA weapons charges lawyers on your side. For a no-obligation consultation, call (570) 348-0776.