GUN CHARGES IN PENNSYLVANIA
There are three main types of gun charges under Pennsylvania's Uniform Firearms Act: Carrying a Firearm Without a License, Persons Not to Possess, Possession of Firearm With Altered Manufacturer's Number, and the Unlawful Sale/Transfer of a Firearm. Another common weapons offense is the Prohibited Offensive Weapons charge.
- Carrying a Firearm Without a License: Applies when any person carries a firearm in a vehicle or concealed on or about his person, except in the home or place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license. This crime is a 3rd Degree Felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison if you are not eligible for a valid license to carry, and a 1st Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to 5 years in prison if you are otherwise eligible for a valid carry license.
- Persons Not to Possess: For a person who has been convicted of certain types of offenses, he/she is not permitted to possess, use, control, sell, transfer or manufacture a firearm, or obtain a license for that purpose. There are approximately 38 types of convictions that can make you a Person Not to Possess, including Homicide and Manslaughter, Possession With Intent to Deliver (PWID), most Sex Crimes, Robbery, and Burglary. This crime is a 2nd Degree Felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
- Possession of Firearm With Altered Manufacturer's Number: Prohibits anyone from possessing a firearm which has had the manufacturer's number integral to the frame or receive altered, changed, removed or obliterated. This crime is a 2nd Degree Felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
- Unlawful Sale/Transfer of a Firearm: Prohibits a purchaser of firearms from knowingly and intentionally providing a fake ID, or making material false oral or written statements, including those on firearms purchase forms, in connection with the purchase, delivery or transfer of a gun. This crime is a 3rd Degree Felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Another charge that might apply is the Prohibited Offensive Weapons charge, which prohibits a person from making, repairing, selling, or dealing in, using or possessing an offensive weapon. Examples of offensive weapons include sawed-off shotguns, brass knuckles, switchblades and stun guns.
DEFENDING YOUR GUN OR WEAPONS CASE
The law covering gun crimes is very complex, and requires a careful analysis by a qualified criminal defense attorney. Most individuals charged with a gun or weapons offense are facing lengthy prison sentences. If you are charged with a gun offense in connection with certain drug or violent crimes offenses, you may be facing enhanced penalties.
Attorney Dave Zuckerman is a former prosecutor of gun, firearms and weapons cases, and uses this experience to provide a vigorous defense to those accused of unlawful firearms possession. For a free consultation, call him today at 412-447-5580.