One of the fundamental rights of American Citizenship is the "Right
to Bear Arms." The right to own a gun is guaranteed in the
Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution (Second Amendment), and the Pennsylvania Constitution
(Article 1, Section 21). However, this right can be lost easily. Under
Pennsylvania gun laws, a person who is convicted of any of the following crimes cannot possess
a firearm, even if the conviction occurred in another state, and even
if they served no time in prison. "Possess" does not mean "own."
It is a crime to temporarily possess a firearm that is owned by another
If a person is charged with one of the crimes above as a juvenile and adjudicated
delinquent, they are barred from possessing a gun for at least 15 years,
and possibly for life.
Finally, many other people are not permitted to possess a firearm under
Pennsylvania law. People with bench warrants in other jurisdictions, those
who have been committed to mental health treatment institutions, illegal
aliens, and people subject to protection from abuse orders (PFA Orders)
are not permitted to possess firearms under many circumstances.
Before you enter into a guilty plea, know the consequences. If you were
convicted of a crime, even as a juvenile, know the law regarding what you can and cannot do
with respect to guns.
In Philadelphia, the District Attorney's Office has created a specialized
unit to handle and prosecute gun crimes and firearms offenses. The unit
consists of veteran prosecutors and detectives who are well adept at finding
person who have made straw purchases and prosecuting them to the fullest
extent of the law. (For information about the GunStat Initiative, read
our blog about that Program
Timothy Tarpey, and
Jim Lloyd are defense attorneys
and former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorneys with who have have handled
more than a thousand cases in which people have been charged with gun
and firearm offenses. With more than 40 years of experience, our attorneys
have extensive knowledge of how to defend these specific types cases so
that your freedom and constitutional rights are protected. If you or someone
you know has questions regarding gun crimes or issues in Philadelphia,
Montgomery, Bucks, or Delaware Counties, contact us for a
free consultation with an experienced attorney at (215) 352-3432.