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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Philadelphia Gun Laws Vs. Other Jurisdictions

Philadelphia is considered a city of the first class in Pennsylvania. Due to this status, it has particularly strict gun laws and high penalties for violating them. Individuals wishing to transport firearms in the city should understand the unique aspects of Philadelphia gun laws vs. other jurisdictions in order to avoid criminal charges.

If you were accused of violating Philadelphia’s firearms restrictions, you could benefit from the services of an experienced gun lawyer. An attorney could help you craft a defense and fight for a favorable resolution to your case.

Moving to Philadelphia from Out of State

A person who owns a gun and moves to Philadelphia from out of state must understand that whatever laws allowed them to have the firearm in the first place may not be adequate in Philadelphia. For example, an individual moving from the State of Delaware to the City or County of Philadelphia must understand that if a firearm is coming with them, they should be licensed to carry in accordance with the laws of the City and County of Philadelphia. A Delaware license to carry is not good enough.

If an individual intends to make Philadelphia their permanent residence, they must apply for a gun carry permit through the Licenses and Inspection agency of the Municipal Services of the Philadelphia City Council. Individuals coming to Philadelphia from another location must be aware that their licenses to carry are no longer good and they must file a local rule when transporting a firearm.

Giving notice to the local Police Department, getting permission, and transporting a firearm in a proper fashion is necessary to avoid an arrest and even a conviction for a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Understanding the process of transferring a firearm from one location to another is essential. Knowing the rules and playing by them is the only way to deal with gun charges in the right way.

Philadelphia Gun Laws are Especially Strict

Like other major metropolitan areas, Philadelphia has large numbers of individuals living in close proximity to one another. Other crimes are exacerbated because of the use of a firearm, and the threat of violence often could be escalated when firearms are involved. Courts and jurisdictions where firearms charges are common, such as Philadelphia County, have to attempt to counter these illegal and often dangerous firearms from coming into the City and County of Philadelphia. The courts are empowered to treat gun offenses in a harsh manner, even though small municipalities outside the city and the suburbs may see guns in a different fashion.

The local courts, governments, and police forces do not want firearms on the street in an unlawful fashion. Thus, licensing is often limited, and what is required to get a carry permit is often difficult. However, once the person obtains the proper permits, the right to carry a firearm is theirs. Before that happens, firearms should not be carried in the City and County of Philadelphia, especially in a concealed fashion or in a vehicle without a license to carry such a firearm.

Common Misconceptions About Gun Laws in Philadelphia

It is a common misconception that a person’s out of state license to carry a firearm is good in the City and County of Philadelphia. In fact, licenses from other states are not valid in Philadelphia. Additionally, it is a myth to believe that because the rest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania allows individuals to carry firearms openly, it is acceptable in Philadelphia. Carrying any firearm on the streets of Philadelphia without a license is a specific crime that is exclusive to the City and County of Philadelphia.

In order to carry a firearm in Philadelphia, an individual must be licensed to own the firearm and to carry it concealed on their person. If they do not have such licensing, they could face charges as high as a felony of the third degree.

Reciprocity With Other Jurisdictions

A valid license to carry issued in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is valid in the City and County of Philadelphia. However, Philadelphia does not have reciprocity with any other jurisdictions regarding concealed carry or other gun registration. Any out of state licenses, special licenses out of the county, and certain licenses involving police officers are not valid in Philadelphia.

For example, police officers from New Jersey may not be able to carry their firearm across any of the Philadelphia bridges connecting the two states, because the lack of reciprocity opens up an officer to criminal prosecution. The only license that carries any weight is the license issued throughout the City and County of Philadelphia or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Consult with a Philadelphia Gun Attorney About Your Case

If you were charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or other gun offenses, speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney about your case. They could fully explain the differences between Philadelphia gun laws vs. other jurisdictions, and they could try to defend you from these charges at every step of the case. Call today to schedule a consultation.