December 31, 2018
When You’re Facing Illegal Weapons Charges: What You Need to Know
As the clock strikes midnight, it’s bound to happen. Somewhere in Pennsylvania, someone will go out back and shoot off guns to bring in the new year. Of course, safety matters first. Whether it’s a pistol, shotgun or rifle, there’s another concern. Are the guns legal? If not, you or someone in your household could be facing weapons charges.
No doubt just about everyone has some opinion regarding the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. That said, the right to keep and bear arms is also subject to considerable state laws. For example, some individuals are prohibited from possessing firearms.
Truth be told, Pennsylvania’s statutes do not just stop at possession. 18 PA Cons Stat § 6105 contains information concerning individuals who may not “possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms.” For starters, this includes those who have existing convictions for many types of offense.
Were you convicted of an offense under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act? If your crime was severe enough to result in two years of jail time, you could be facing weapons charges. The same is true if you were convicted of similar crimes under federal law.
Others who could face charges include those with convictions for violent crimes. Additionally, Pennsylvania law addresses those deemed incompetent or who have mental health issues that required involuntary commitment.
Other Illegal Weapons Charges
In the meantime, there are other illegal weapons charges that could get you in trouble. For the most part, you can only keep a firearm at your home or business. That means it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon unless you have a license allowing you to do so. Under 18 PA Cons Stat § 6106, it’s actually a felony of the third degree to carry a weapon in your vehicle or on your person without the proper license. Meanwhile, there are some exceptions to the rule as far as job classifications.
It is essential for the government to track guns by manufacturer’s number. Therefore, it is also against the law to possess a firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number. You could be facing penalties if the manufacturer’s number was changed, removed, or eradicated.
When you retain the services of a criminal defense firm, they will evaluate the circumstances of any of your actions. It will be up to the prosecution to prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. This may include a determination of whether you acted intentionally, knowingly or recklessly.