State and federal laws, administrative law, and criminal law govern firearms law. It is a niche area of the law and not many attorneys work with clients dealing with gun legal issues. Below are a few thoughts on permit violations, illegal sales, and commission of a crime with a weapon.
When police see a weapon, they may overreact, even if the person carrying the weapon may not appear threatening, and not pose a danger to him or others.
For example, Philadelphia police confronted a man for carrying a gun in public. Mark Fiorino, 25, was carrying a .40-caliber Glock on his hip in plain sight. In Pennsylvania, Fiorino has every right to openly carry a gun because he has a lawful license to carry a firearm. In Pennsylvania, it is legal to openly carry a weapon so long as you have a permit. Fiorino was actually arrested for disorderly conduct, though he did not even raise his voice when the police confronted him.
A person carrying a gun who does not have a license and is not eligible to obtain a license, can face severe penalties if convicted. For instance, convicted felon Joseph Lee Ollie, who also had a restraining order against him, was recently arrested for unlawful possession of a stolen Mossberg Model 500 shotgun. He is facing up to 30 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. Generally, it is considered a third degree felony if you are carrying without a permit. This could mean a seven-year jail sentence plus $15,000 in fines on conviction.
Failure to renew a weapon’s permit that is in your possession can result in your arrest. Accidentally concealing your weapon can also result in your arrest.
Illegal Sale of Weapons
Only 14 municipalities have ordinances requiring gun owners to report a gun or other weapon lost or stolen. Yet 80% of guns recovered in crimes are obtained illegally by perpetrators (www.wheredidtheguncomefrom).
Illegally selling a handgun, however, can result in a misdemeanor charge. Recently, a retired police officer Pasquale Fattore, and his son Patrick were charged with conspiracy and illegal transfer of weapons after the Pennsylvania attorney general’s gun-violence task force investigators witnessed them allegedly sell the guns to a man named Emanuel Farmer at a gun show in the National Guard Armory in the Northwest.
Gun Used in Commission of a Crime
Significantly harsh penalties await those convicted of committing a crime using a gun. Prosecutors aggressively seek maximum punishment in cases like these.
If you are facing gun crime charges, such as illegal carry, illegal sale of weapons, permit violation, felony-murder, or of being an accomplice with a gun in the commission of a crime, make sure the attorney you retain has knowledge and experience in gun crime law.
Call an Attorney Experienced in Defending
Clients Against Weapons Charges
W. Wayne Punshon, Attorney at Law, is an experienced criminal defense attorney representing clients throughout the Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania. Learn more about how I can protect you against weapons charges in a free initial consultation. Please email or call my office at 610-565-8412 to arrange for your appointment.