What Happens if You Get Caught With a Gun in a State with Stricter Gun Laws?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 06, 2023 | 0 Comments

A July 4th shooting in Camden County, New Jersey, that injured a 6-year-old girl sparked a feud between New Jersey County Commissioner Louis Cappelli Jr. and Philadelphia City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson after police discovered the suspects had Philadelphia ties. Cappelli went on social media and blamed Philly for bringing violent crime to New Jersey. Richardson called Cappelli's comments “asinine” and demanded Cappelli apologize for generalizing Philadelphia residents. He refused, arguing that his frustration was justified.

Camden was once one of the most violent cities in the U.S. but has seen a dramatic decline in gun violence over the past decade, thanks in large part to police reforms and stricter gun laws. The state requires residents to obtain gun permits before purchasing a firearm, a 90-day waiting period for handgun permits, and a ban on the possession and sale of certain assault weapons, among other restrictions.

On the other hand, Philadelphia does not require residents to obtain permits before purchasing a firearm, does not ban any type of assault weapons, and allows the open carry of firearms.

So, what happens if you open carry or use your firearm for protection in a state with stricter gun laws? Let's consider the potential consequences.

Consequences if You're Caught With a Gun in a State With Strict Gun Laws

The consequences can vary depending on the specific laws and circumstances involved. However, several common outcomes may occur:

  • Arrest and Criminal Charges: If you are found in possession of a firearm in violation of state laws, you can be arrested and face criminal charges. The severity of the charges will depend on factors such as the type of firearm, the circumstances of possession, and your criminal history.
  • Felony Offense: In many cases, possessing a firearm unlawfully in a state with strict gun laws can result in felony charges. Felony convictions can lead to significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and a permanent criminal record that can impact various aspects of your life.
  • Confiscation of Firearm: Law enforcement may confiscate the firearm you are caught with. Depending on the circumstances, it may be held as evidence during legal proceedings, and ultimately, if the court convicts you of a crime, your gun may be permanently seized or destroyed.
  • Enhanced Penalties: Some states impose enhanced penalties for certain firearm-related offenses, such as possessing a firearm without a required permit or carrying a firearm in specific prohibited locations, such as schools, government buildings. These penalties can result in more severe punishments.
  • Impact on Future Firearms Possession: A conviction for a firearms offense can have long-term consequences on your ability to possess firearms in the future. It may result in the loss of your right to own or possess firearms, even in states with less restrictive gun laws.

Caught With a Gun in a Strict Gun Law State? The LLF Law Firm Can Help.

If you are facing weapons charges or other consequences related to possession of a firearm in a state with stricter gun laws, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side to protect your rights. Contact our Criminal Law Team at the LLF Law Firm today at 1.888.535.3686 or use our online contact form.

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!


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