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Criminal penalties for possessing weapons on school property


There are many people who possess guns and knives in Philadelphia. These weapons can be used for both legal activities and illegal activities. In the right settings possessing weapons can be a good form of recreation, such as hunting, or good for protecting oneself or family. However, there are many other settings where weapons can be used just to hurt others. That is why there are regulations on who can possess weapons and where people can possess them.

One location where it is illegal to possess weapons is a school. The state has an interest in protecting the youth and therefore bans weapons at school. A weapon for the purposes of this law includes pretty much any tool capable of causing great harm to another. These include, but are not limited to, knives and other cutting instruments, guns of any type, nun-chuck sticks and others.

If a person is caught with a weapon in a school building, on the school grounds or on a bus transporting kids to and from school, that person may be guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree. However, there is one exception, and that is if the weapon was brought to school as part of a lawful school activity. In addition to that exception, there may also be other defenses available to the person as well, depending on the facts of the situation. Simply being charged with possessing a weapon on school grounds does not automatically mean the person is guilty of the crime.

While owning certain weapons in Philadelphia is legal for most people, there are restrictions on where a person can bring those weapons. One place that weapons are banned is a school. A person charged possessing a weapon on school grounds faces serious consequences, but everyone is innocent until proven guilty and there may be defenses available.

Source: Pennsylvania State Legislature, "Pennsylvania statute Title 18 section 912" accessed on June 27, 2016

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