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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Legally Possessing a Firearm in Philadelphia

While legally possessing a firearm in Philadelphia may be a constitutional right, an individual must meet strict requirements when carrying. The law in Philadelphia is very clear on these requirements, and those who fail to meet them may find themselves facing significant legal ramifications. A person with a firearm or interested in owning one may benefit from speaking to an experienced gun lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney could explain what steps a person must take to ensure they are meet the standards of a responsible gun owner.

Lawfully Carrying a Gun

An individual carrying a lawful registration for a firearm (the firearm was purchased legally and registered to them) may carry the firearm between places, i.e., places of abode, businesses and/or other locations that may include a gun range. When individuals are merely registered to have a firearm, e.g., they do not have a license to carry but the firearm is legally registered to them, they may also carry the firearm when they go back and forth to a registered and legal gun range.

In all other cases, guns in Philadelphia may not be legally carried and/or transported without an appropriate license to carry. When lawfully registered firearms are being transported, they must be transported in a manner consistent with the law. The firearm must be sealed in one location without any ammunition and the ammunition must be sealed and carried in a different location so that the two are not transported together.

In cases of an automobile (which is the most common type of transportation for a firearm), the firearm must be placed in a location such as the glove compartment in its original packaging, while any and all ammunition must be placed in the trunk area, that way two cannot get together at any time and cause any security problems when the motor vehicle is legally stopped. At all times when police are involved in an investigation or the person is stopped with the firearm, the individual is recommended to comply with all requests by police.

In cases where individuals have a legal permit to carry said firearms, they must show the police their carry permit whenever questioned by a police officer and must indicate where the firearm is at all times. A legal permit is which is referred to as the Concealed Firearms Permit, and a person must have it with them at all times when possessing the firearm. The firearm cannot be carried with ammunition loaded.

Things to Avoid while Handling a Gun

All individuals who carry a firearm in the City and County of Philadelphia must abide by the local rules at all times. Those who legally possess firearms may need to avoid certain circumstances when having that firearm because they have a legal concealment permit or are legally transporting it from one location to another.

In any locations in Philadelphia that have alcohol available and/or are open to disruptive behavior, possessing a firearm is typically not allowed. Firearms are typically more difficult to handle or maintain when alcohol is involved, and may even raise an otherwise simple situation into a much more difficult and dangerous situation. Courthouses and City Hall complexes all typically mandate that gun carriers do not take their gun into those locations. Firearms are also prohibited in schools and recreational centers.

Designated Gun Free Zones

Common sense may dictate that certain areas and/or zones should be free of guns, narcotics, and things of that nature. Government agencies, school zones, public buildings, and courthouses are locations where carrying a firearm is frowned upon. Locations involving a large number of pedestrians are the type of location that even educated gun owners simply may not bring their firearms. This may include e.g., public transportation, subway systems, and crowded buses.

A license to carry a firearm legally and paperwork for such firearm must be easily assessable, should the police inquire about a firearm. Individuals have the absolute ability to own a lawful firearm and carry such firearm in the City and County of Philadelphia absent any other marked zones that are clearly marked as gun free zones.

Penalties for Carrying Firearms in Prohibited Areas

Philadelphia has no enhancements when dealing with gun free zones or mandatory minimums. The actual penalties for having a firearm range are strict and firm in and of themselves. They typically range from one to two years incarceration all the way up to 20 years incarceration. While there is no minimum mandatory jail time, having a firearm in certain gun-free zones, e.g., public buildings, courthouses, schools, typically adds an aggravating factor when determining an appropriate sentence for an individual having unlawfully carried a firearm in the City and County of Philadelphia.

Speak to a Philadelphia Gun Attorney Today

All violations of the Uniform Firearms Act are taken seriously in Philadelphia, and a conviction could lead to years in jail. If you face gun possession charges or have questions about legally possessing a firearm in Philadelphia, speak to an experienced attorney today.