Should you be sentenced under Pennsylvania's mandatory firearms sentencing laws for possession of a firearm if that gun isn't actually working? In Pennsylvania, the answer appears to be "yes."
The use and possession of firearms are strictly regulated in Pennsylvania and people who are accused of weapons crimes in Pennsylvania can face serious criminal charges. In addition, people accused of weapons crimes can face federal charges as well as state charges.
Recently, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania heard an interesting appeal involving the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The appeal involved a Pennsylvania man's 10-year sentence on theft and firearms charges, and whether the evidence used against him should have been suppressed.
Not all weapons crimes are violent crimes or involve a felon in possession of a firearm. Many weapons crimes are a matter of paperwork and disclosure. Recently, a federal grand jury indicted three individuals operating an auction business on charges of selling firearms without a license and conspiracy.
Prosecutors withdrew homicide charges against a suspect charged with killing his girlfriend in Pittsburgh last August after a key witness went missing. However, the suspect will stand trial on a related charge of carrying a handgun without a license.
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.