People in Philadelphia own guns for many different reasons. Many want to be able to protect themselves from intruders who may break into their homes or businesses. Others may be worried about who they may encounter in various public areas. Others own guns for hunting and other recreational purposes. People can possess guns without a license to carry a firearm as long as they keep them in their homes or places of business, but if they want to carry them, generally they will need a license.
There are some exceptions to this rule though. One is that people can transport firearms to their homes or businesses after purchase as long as it is not loaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase or from a repair shop. They can also transport them if they are moving to a new home or office or from their home to a vacation home. People can also transport them to locations where they are hunting. Also, there is a six month grace period for those whose license expired and they are eligible to renew the license. There are other exceptions as well.
If a person is arrested for carrying a firearm without a license, he or she may be able to use one of these exceptions as a defense. Even if a person is unable to use one of these defenses, there still may be other available defenses. Many times the defenses start with whether the police properly stopped the person and whether they lawfully searched him or her. If the police did not conduct a proper stop or search, the evidence of the gun could be suppressed and a conviction becomes less likely.
Many people own guns in Philadelphia. Some of these individuals may be licensed to carry a firearm, but many others do not have the proper license and could face severe penalties if they are caught. However, even if a person is arrested, there may be defenses available to the person and it does not mean that the person will ultimately be convicted of the crime. Many of the defenses are statutory or protected constitutional rights and it is important to know them.
Source: Pennsylvania State Police, "Carrying Firearms in Pennsylvania" accessed on Oct. 24, 2016