Criminal Defense Attorney

Consequences of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Bucks County

Due to the number of illegal firearms and gun-related crimes in Bucks County, the unlawful possession of firearms has become a priority for local law enforcement. The theory is that if the illegal firearms are taken off the street and/or taken out of the hands of criminals or convicted felons, then lawful and law-abiding citizens can obtain them and protect themselves with their own lawfully-provided firearms.

It is the attempt to curb the thousands upon thousands of illegal firearms that enter the system that bring prosecutors, police, and, in many ways, the courts together in no longer looking at firearms in a lenient fashion but handing down stringent and tough sentences involving the possession of unlawful firearms, the possession of individuals not lawfully able to possess such firearms and/or the transfer of such firearms by individuals not authorized to do so. As a result, the consequences of unlawful possession of a firearm in Bucks County can be severe. Work with a skilled gun attorney that can protect your rights, and defend you from the charges that you may face.

Prosecution of Gun Possession Offenses

The prosecution of unlawful possession of firearm offenses, especially by convicted felons and other prohibited persons,  is taken quite seriously in Bucks County. However, more recently, the prosecutor’s office, as well as specialized police units, are focusing more on straw purchases which refers to other individuals purchasing guns for others that would not otherwise be authorized, or the illegal transfer of firearms from one individual who is not authorized to do so to another individual who is not authorized to do so. The consequences of unlawful possession of a firearm in Bucks County are one of the ways that the state seeks to curtail the prevalence of unlawful possession offenses.

In playing with the transfer of firearms, the prosecutors and/or police departments working together are looking to curb the amount of illegal firearms that are present on the market. In most cases of gun possession, there may be firearms that were legally purchased and legally owned by the individuals, however, the individuals never attempted to get a license and/or are used the firearms in an inconsistent manner or unlawful manner. When convicted felons and others alleged to have been committing crimes obtain these firearms, they are often obtained by a third party and the transfer of such firearms then comes into play.

Lawful Possession of a Firearm

An individual that is allowed to possess a firearm can have the firearm in their home at their place of business and is capable of transferring that firearm and/or transporting it between locations.  When police make a valid inquiry of an individual who has a valid license and a validly purchased firearm, the individual must immediately provide proof of such to police, that indicates the police officers upon an investigatory inquiry that they do have a firearm and they do have a license to carry the firearm.

A license to carry is only required if a person is otherwise eligible to have a firearm when an individual intends to conceal the firearm on their person or carry the firearm in a vehicle which is also considered concealment. However, for general purposes, a vehicle can transport a firearm if specific requirements are followed; specifically, if the firearm is carried in a crude package and/or a lock box and the ammunition is not kept in the same location with the firearm. If these rules are followed, even those individuals who do not have a license to carry a concealed weapon can have a weapon. If these rules are not followed, then the individual may find themselves facing consequences of unlawful possession of a firearm in Bucks County.

Being Found Guilty of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

An individual can be found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm in two ways. First, the individual is not otherwise authorized to have a firearm, meaning the person is disqualified as a result of a prior conviction, a prior felony adjudication, or conviction, or if the individual had some kind of mental incapacity and/or drug or alcohol problem and this problem has been treated and/or documented, thus not allowing the person to be mentally stable enough – even during treatment – to have such a firearm.

Second, an individual can be convicted of having a firearm if the individual does so in a manner by either the concealing their firearm on their person or concealing it in an automobile. In both cases, a concealed license permit is required in order for a person to have a validly carried firearm. However, when firearms are not concealed about a person’s person or in an automobile, in those cases, a permit is not required and a person would not be otherwise prosecuted for having a firearm unless another crime such as an aggravated assault, robbery, carjacking, or any other related crime occurs. The consequences of unlawful possession of a firearm in Bucks County can escalate if the individual used the firearm to carry out another crime. If an individual has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, they should consult a capable gun attorney that could build a solid defense for them.