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Using a weapon in self-defense in Philadelphia

People in Philadelphia possess many different kinds of weapons or different objects that can be used as weapons. Many times, the person legally owns the weapon, but there are many others who have weapons illegally. However, regardless of whether the person possesses a weapon legally or illegally, in most situations, it is illegal to use those weapons to harm another.

While this is the general rule, there are situations when it is legal for a person to use a weapon to harm another. The main type of situation where it may be legal is if the person is using the weapon in self-defense. But, for it to be legal self-defense certain criteria must be met in the situation.

The main principle is that the people use a weapon to protect against a person trying to harm them. The force used must also be only what is necessary to protect themselves from the danger presented to them.

So, in situations where the person is threatened by another individual using a weapon or gun, the person may be able to use a weapon or gun to protect him or herself from the attacking individual. The person acting in defense must legally own the weapon or gun being used and must not be engaged in illegal activity of their own at the time of the incident.

Unfortunately, many people are attacked in Philadelphia each year. While, in most situations, it is illegal to use weapons to harm another person, people can legally use them to defend themselves. If they are charged with a crime as a result, they may be able to assert that they were acting in self-defense and may not be guilty of a crime. This defense is fact specific though, and it is important to understand the factors that make it a valid defense.

Source:, "Pennsylvania Statute Title 18 Section 505," accessed on Aug. 29, 2016

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Kenneth L. Baritz & Associates, P.C.
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Philadelphia, PA 19110

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