Many different kinds of guns and weapons can be found in Philadelphia. Some people own the guns legally, while others do not. With the proper licenses an individual can even carry a gun in public places and some private places. It is perfectly legal and well within a person's right under the law. However, even a person with the proper licenses cannot bring a gun everywhere. If a person brings a gun into a place that prohibits guns, they may be facing gun charges.
One of the places that a person is not allowed to bring a gun is a courthouse. A courthouse is defined as any courtroom of a court of record. This includes a magistrate judge's courtroom, Philadelphia Municipal and Traffic courts, as well as the offices for the clerks, district attorneys and sheriffs contained in the courthouse.
If a person brings a gun or a dangerous weapon into a courthouse, they are guilty of a crime. The severity of the crime depends on whether they intended to or used the gun or simply were in possession of it. There is also a lesser penalty for those who have the proper licenses to carry a gun, but merely failed to check it prior to entering the courthouse.
Each courthouse is also required to post a notice that guns and weapons are prohibited. These notices must be placed at each public entrance to the courthouse in a location that a person could easily see it. A person cannot be charged with this offense if there is not a sign posted or it is in a place which is difficult to see. Each courthouse also has to provide lockers or other secure facilities, where a person can store their gun while they are in the courthouse.
There are many laws governing guns and weapons in Philadelphia and one of those laws prohibits people from possessing a gun in a courthouse. Even those who otherwise legally own and carry guns are not allowed to bring it into a courthouse. The penalties for doing so can be severe as well. Experienced criminal law attorneys understand the laws surrounding guns and may be able to help ensure one's rights are protected.
Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly, "Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Section 913", accessed on April 20, 2015