Gun Violations, Firearms & Weapons Lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA

Sentencing for convicted weapons charges in Pennsylvania and PA firearms laws are some of the toughest in the United States. A person convicted of violating the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act is mandated to serve time in prison. Even if you are authorized to own a weapon in your home or business, if you are found outside of your home or business with a weapon and without a valid permit, you could risk a felony and a prison sentence of one to two years. If a person is convicted of using a gun (or even a fake gun) during the process of another crime (burglary, drug deal, assault) a mandatory five-year sentence will be added to the sentence of the crime itself.

These legal penalties are in addition to the penalties that affect your entire future—employment opportunities, your reputation, your future rights to own guns, etc. A firearms conviction reflects a dangerous criminal who people will not want to hire or be able to trust.

But a weapons or firearms charge does not mean a conviction—calling an experienced gun violations attorney can be your first defense against your charges. Ketchel Law provides free consultations and can help you better understand your charges and how to aggressively fight against them.

Types of Gun Violations and Firearms Charges in PA

There are several types of gun violations in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Carrying a gun or weapon without proper permits;
  • Possession or sale of illegal firearms;
  • Theft of any kind of firearm;
  • Possessing an unlicensed weapon while being charged with another crime, for example, a gun without a permit is found in your car during a DUI stop;
  • Using a gun in commission of another crime, for example, threatening to use the gun or firing it during a drug crime, kidnapping or burglary.

There are several other circumstances in which you could be charged with a gun violation, but the above examples are most common.

Types of Banned Weapons in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania defines a firearm as “any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.”

Under the Statutes of Pennsylvania Title 18 : 908, there are several “offensive weapons” that are prohibited, except as authorized by law. Possession of an offensive weapon, if convicted, is a first-degree misdemeanor.

These “offensive weapons” include:

  • Bombs, grenades
  • Machine guns
  • Sawed-off shotguns (barrel less than 18″)
  • Firearms specially made for concealment or silent discharge
  • Blackjacks, sandbags, metal knuckles, brass knuckles
  • Daggers, knives, razors or cutting instruments using a switch blade or other automatic reflex
  • Stun guns, stun batons, tasers or other electronic weapons for the infliction of serious bodily injury, serving no common lawful purpose

Penalties in Pennsylvania for Gun Violations and Weapons/Firearms Charges

Possession of a Concealed Firearm Penalty in Pennsylvania

Unless you have a valid license, possession of a concealed firearm is illegal and is graded as a third-degree felony. An exception is if you would have been eligible for a license and have an otherwise clean record, it is a first-degree misdemeanor.

A first-degree misdemeanor conviction could mean up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

A third-degree felony conviction could mean up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Illegal Sale of Firearms and Violations of Weapons Sales Procedures in PA

If you are authorized to sell firearms, but do not adhere to the 48-hour waiting period, you will receive a second-degree misdemeanor if convicted. If you sell a dangerous weapon to a minor, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. If you sell a gun to a person who is not eligible to buy a gun, you will receive a third degree felony, if convicted.

A second-degree misdemeanor conviction could mean up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

A first-degree misdemeanor conviction could mean up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Possession of a Firearm Conviction for People Who Are Not Allowed to Possess a Firearm in PA

If you are found in possession of a firearm and you are not allowed to own a firearm, you will receive a second-degree felony, if convicted. People who have been convicted of certain crimes are not allowed to own a firearm, as well as undocumented immigrants, people who have been committed to a mental institution, or people under certain restraining orders.

A second-degree felony conviction could mean up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine. For more information, read the Pennsylvania State Police website about who is eligible to apply for a license to carry weapons in Pennsylvania.

Charges for Weapons Violations in Commission with Another Crime

If you have been charged with another crime in which you used an illegal weapon, you will be charged for both—the weapons crime and the crime itself. If convicted, you face a five-year mandatory prison sentence.

Defense Against Weapons Charges and Firearms Violations in Pennsylvania

Even though Pennsylvania has very tough laws against gun violence and weapons charges, there are plenty of options for defending your rights and battling your charges. The prosecution needs to prove that the gun was actually in your possession during the crime and not in someone else’s. Based on whether the arresting officers followed proper procedures, it may be possible to suppress the evidence and have your charges dropped altogether. If the police conducted an illegal search, your case will be thrown out in court.

Our number one goal: Having your firearms violation charges dismissed.

Call Ketchel Law today: 412-456-1221 for a free consultation.

If you have been charged with a gun crime in Pennsylvania, call an experienced Pittsburgh gun violence attorney like Justin J. Ketchel for a free consultation. Ketchel Law will aggressively fight on your behalf to ensure that your arrest has a minimal impact on all aspects of your life and your future.

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