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Dropped Gun Kills Pennsylvania Man, Weapons Charges may Follow

An accidental shooting may lead to homicide and weapons charges for a Harrisburg man. The victim was fatally shot while having a conversation with the man who police believe may be his killer. According to witnesses, the victim was speaking outside of his home with the suspect when a concealed handgun fell from the suspect's pocket. The weapon fell to the pavement, discharged, and shot the victim in the chest.

At this time, it seems likely that authorities will pursue homicide and weapons charges. The suspect was reportedly involved in a similar incident in 1994 and has a criminal record including several prior felony convictions. According to witness accounts, the men were friendly and the killing was unintentional. But, even if the killing is determined to be accidental, this incident could lead to charges for crimes other than murder.

Concealed firearms violations can lead to hefty criminal punishment, especially in incidents such as this one when the results are so tragic. Under the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, a license is required to carry a concealed handgun outside of one's home or place of business. Illegally carrying a handgun is a possible felony offense in this state. Additionally, both state and federal law is violated whenever a felon or a person convicted of a crime of violence possesses a firearm, concealed or not.

Presently the suspect in this homicide is at large and all we have to go on are the witnesses' accounts of what happened. But if the accounts are true, there can be no doubt that whether this killing was intentional or not, there could be serious legal consequences.

Source: Suspect in Harrisburg shooting was convicted in similar case; Matthew Kemeny, 10/12/2010

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