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Can one possess a weapon on school property in Philadelphia?

For many people it is legal to possess and carry firearms in Philadelphia. As long as the person is not disqualified from possessing a gun and has a permit to carry, then it is perfectly legal for the person to possess the gun in public. However, this only applies to public locations or the person’s own property. There are places where a person cannot possess a firearm even if they have the proper licenses. If they are caught with a gun in certain locations, they could face weapons charges.

These places include schools and their surrounding property. It is illegal for anyone to possess a weapon on school grounds as well as on buses or other forms of transportation to and from the school. The law bans all weapons, including knives or other cutting instruments, guns of any kind, and any other objects which could inflict serious harm on others.

Possessing a weapon on school property is a first degree misdemeanor. If the individual is convicted the penalty could include jail time up to five years. However, there are defenses available to people charged with possessing a weapon on school grounds. For instance, people can possess weapons on school grounds if the weapon was brought to the school for a lawful supervised activity or class or other lawful activity. There also may be other defenses available depending on the facts of the situation.

Just because a person has the right to carry a gun does not mean they can take it everywhere they go. If they go to a school with the weapon they could be facing serious criminal charges. Experienced criminal defense attorneys understand these charges and can help the accused fight them in court.

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly, “Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Section 912“, accessed on March 16, 2015

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