Gun Violence in Philadelphia Raises Questions About Underage Gun Laws

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Feb 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

A string of gun violence in southwest Philadelphia raises the issue of underage gun users and how the law handles minors with guns.

String of Shootings Targets Teens in Philadelphia

Over the course of the past week, several shootings have happened in the southwestern region of Philadelphia, leaving several teenagers hurt or killed.

On Friday, February 15, gun violence left a 17-year-old rapper dead. Immediately following the vigil for the victim of the first shooting on February 17, there was another shooting that killed an 18-year-old. Just after midnight, there was another shooting that left a 16-year-old seriously hurt.

Police have made no arrests, so far. There is no indication from law enforcement as to whether they think that the shootings are connected. However, common sense suggests that they are – they all happened in the same area in a matter of days, and appear to be targeting a group of young adults.

Based on the ages of the victims, the odds seem significant that the people behind the shootings would be underage, as well.

Legal Age to Use a Firearm in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, there is a state law, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6110.1, that prohibits anyone who is under the age of 18 from using a firearm. While there are exceptions – like when they are under the direct supervision of an adult or are lawfully hunting – it seems unlikely that they would apply to this particular situation.

Violation of this statute, alone, constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor – the most serious type of misdemeanor – which carries between 30 months and five years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. Other charges quickly stack on top of this one, especially if the firearm was used in the commission of a crime or a shooting. Homicide charges from the resulting gun violence can imperil the rest of the minor's life, especially if they are close to turning 18 and risk being tried as an adult.

Furnishing a Minor With a Firearm is a Felony

Surprisingly, it is an even more serious offense to furnish a minor with a firearm in Pennsylvania. Subsection (c) of the statute forbids the knowing and intentional provision of a firearm to a minor if the use of the weapon would not fall into one of the exceptions that allow underage people to use one. Violations of this part of the statute are a third-degree felony, punishable with between 42 months and seven years in jail, and a fine of up to $15,000.

Gun Crime Defense Lawyer Serves Philadelphia

Our Criminal Law Team are criminal defense lawyers who represent people who have been accused of a gun crime in or near the city of Philadelphia. Convictions for even minor gun offenses can endanger your Second Amendment rights. The jail term and the fines that accompany a conviction can alter your life well before that, though.

If you have been accused of a gun crime, call our law office at 888-535-3686 or contact him online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.