John C. Lackatos, P.C.
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What factors may keep you from legally owning a firearm?

Many people want to own a firearm for different reasons. You may feel the need to own one for personal protection, or perhaps, you enjoy hunting game during the applicable seasons. No matter the reason, the purchase and possession of a firearm must adhere to the law, or you could face serious legal consequences.

Just like every other state, Pennsylvania has a set of state laws regarding firearms and gun control. Additionally, different parts of the state may have different protocols for specific areas of the law. For example, under state law, you do not need a license to open-carry a firearm, but you do need a license to do so if you are in Philadelphia.

Understanding state gun control laws

Because of the various aspects of the law, it is important to understand how state laws could affect your ability to own or carry a firearm. If you want to conceal-carry a firearm as opposed to open-carry, you would need to obtain a License to Carry Firearms permit, and you must be at least 21 years old in order to apply for that license.

Laws also apply for purchasing firearms in the state, and if any of the following stipulations apply to you, you cannot purchase or own one:

  • You are under the age of 18.
  • You have received court convictions for three separate DUI charges within a five-year period.
  • You have received a court conviction for a misdemeanor or felony violent crime.
  • You are an undocumented immigrant.
  • You are a fugitive.
  • You have a drug addiction or alcohol abuse problem.
  • A court has declared you mentally ill.
  • You have an active protection from abuse order against you.

You could also face serious legal issues if you have an illegal firearm in your possession, such as:

  • You have a sawed-off shotgun.
  • You have a firearm with an altered manufacturer's number.
  • You have a machine gun.
  • You have a firearm made or altered for concealment or silent discharge.

If you find yourself accused of any violations of gun control laws, you could face a serious predicament.

Having help

Luckily, if authorities do bring firearm-related charges against you, you do not have to try to handle your case alone. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney could help you understand your legal rights and defense options as well as help you build your case for finding the best possible outcome to the situation.

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