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When can minors possess a gun in Philadelphia?

It is legal for many people in Philadelphia to own guns. Guns are used for hunting and recreation and can help people protect their families in their homes. However, many people are legally barred from possessing firearms. People can lose the right to possess a firearm if they commit certain crimes, such as acts of domestic abuse and other violations of the law. If these people possess a firearm they could face gun charges.

Minors in general are also prohibited from possessing firearms. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Minors are allowed to possess firearms if the minor is under the supervision of a parent, grandparent or legal custodian and is participating in a legal activity such as target practice, a competition or hunting.

Any adult who provides a firearm to a minor and does not supervise them can also be charged a crime. If the minor possesses a firearm illegally, the firearm will be forfeited in addition to being charged with a crime.

However, just like any crime, the minor who allegedly possessed the firearm is innocent until proven guilty. There may be defenses available to the minor starting with whether the police lawfully searched the minor and seized the firearm. The potential defenses depend on the specifics of the case.

Many people in Philadelphia possess firearms. Some legally possess them and others possess them illegally. If a minor possesses one, they are doing so illegally unless they are supervised by a parent or legal custodian. The penalties if convicted are severe, but defenses may be available. Attorneys understand these potential defenses and may be able to protect one’s rights.

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly, “Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 § 6110.1” accessed on November 17, 2015


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