There are many guns and other weapons in Philadelphia. Some people feel that there are probably too many guns and would like to see a decrease in the numbers. Despite this sentiment, guns are still prevalent and in many cases owned legally. However, there are many people in Philadelphia who also own guns illegally. These people, if caught by the police, could face gun charges and serious consequences as the regulation of guns is fairly tight.
A man from Philadelphia was recently arrested by police for allegedly possessing a firearm illegally. Police said that the man pointed a gun at a woman and threatened to shoot her. He then allegedly fled from police initially, but eventually stopped. The man did not have a gun on him when he was stopped, but police allegedly found a gun on the side of the road along the route he used to flee from police. Police said the gun was the one the man pointed at the woman. He was charged with multiple weapons offenses including person not to possess a firearm and carrying a firearm without a license.
The consequences for a person convicted of weapons charges can be very serious. The person may end up with a mandatory jail sentence depending on the facts of the case, such as whether the gun was used during another crime. They may also lose their right to possess a firearm in the future.
While the consequences can be serious, a person charged with a gun offense is still presumed innocent until proven guilty. There also may be defenses available to the person depending on the circumstances. Many defenses start with whether the police lawfully recovered the gun. If the seizure of the gun was illegal, the evidence of the gun may be suppressed. That means that the prosecutor could not use it and a conviction becomes much less likely.
People in Philadelphia are charged with gun offenses each year. The consequences of a conviction are serious, but defenses may be available. Understanding the legal defenses potentially available may help one avoid a conviction.
Source: Lehigh Valley Live, "Easton police say Philadelphia man pointed stolen gun at woman," Sarah M. Wojcik, July 7, 2014