The United States Constitution grants US citizens the right to bear arms. Like many other states, Pennsylvania has put statutes into effect in order to regulate who is able to bear arms vio statutes punishing violent crimes such as possessing a firearm without a license. In PA, violent crimes can occur and it is a crime to carry a firearm without a license. This crime is known as firearms not to be carried without a license. According to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, voluntary manslaughter any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license commits a felony of the third degree. If you are found guilty, you could face a possible penalty of seven years imprisonment and/or fines up to $15,000. In addition, a person who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license but carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place business, without a valid and lawfully issued license and has not committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. If you are found guilty, you could face a possible penalty of up to five years imprisonment and/or fines up to $10,000.
There are several exceptions to this statute. Exceptions to this statute include law enforcement officers; members of the army, navy, marine corps, air force or coast guard who are on duty; any persons coming to or from target shooting with a firearm and the firearm is not loaded; officers or employees of the US duly authorized to carry a concealed firearm; agents, messengers and other employees of common carriers, banks, or business firms, whose duties require them to protect moneys, valuables and other property; any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person, having in his possession, using or carrying a firearm in the usual or ordinary course of such business; any person while carrying a firearm assault crimes which is not loaded and is in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair, sale, or appraisal or back to his home or place of business, or when moving from one home or place of business to another; persons licenses to hunt or fish and are actually hunting or fishing; any person training dogs during the regular training season; any person carrying a firearm in a vehicle who is licensed to carry; a person who had a license to possess a firearm that expired within six months before his date of arrest, if the person is eligible for renewal of the license; or any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a firearm who is operating a vehicle which is registered in the person's name or the name of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which a license has been issued to the spouse or the parent owning the firearm.
If you find yourself facing charges for carrying a firearm without a license, it is best to consult with a criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney will be able to look at your case and establish the facts. Your lawyer will be able to look at the facts of your case and determine whether or not you fall under the exceptions of the statute.