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Home 9 Gun Crimes 9 Learn How to Defend Against Ghost Gun Charges in Lancaster, PA

Learn How to Defend Against Ghost Gun Charges in Lancaster, PA

A police officer shows a gun in an evidence bag to a suspect who is looking away and remorseful.

If you are being confronted with a ghost gun charge in Pennsylvania, you must be prepared to deal with the substantial legal ramifications that come with it. Navigating the intricacies of such a charge in Lancaster, PA, necessitates a keen awareness of the law, an understanding of your rights, and the ability to mount a robust legal defense.

Through this detailed guide, we’ll explore the nature of ghost guns, analyze the implications of Pennsylvania’s gun statutes, and discuss the critical steps you need to take to secure competent legal aid to uphold your rights. With the expert insights and steadfast advocacy provided by Marinaro Law Firm, you can rest assured that you have an accomplished champion in your corner. Contact us today to start your legal consultation.

What Constitutes a Ghost Gun?

A ghost gun is a firearm that lacks a serial number and can be assembled from parts, often ordered online, without the buyer going through a background check. These guns are called “ghosts” because they are hard to trace and are not registered with any government body, which makes them invisible to traditional law enforcement methods. In recent years, the rise in the use of a firearm without a serial number has become a concern for public safety and law enforcement agencies.

In Pennsylvania, the law requires that all firearms have a serial number and that their owners undergo background checks. As a result, possessing, manufacturing, or selling a gun without a serial number could lead to a ghost gun charge. Understanding the specifics of these regulations is the first step in building a defense if you’re facing such accusations.

Is It Illegal to Own a Gun Without a Serial Number in PA?

In Pennsylvania, the legal status of ghost guns is complex and evolving. In March of 2024, the Pennsylvania House passed a bill prohibiting the sale, purchase, and production of untraceable ghost guns. However, the bill doesn’t make this type of gun illegal. The bill is aimed at preventing firearms that are designed to be untraceable or assembled from parts without serial numbers from staying out of the hands of criminals. This bill closes legal loopholes that have allowed ghost guns to proliferate.

It’s important to note that state laws continue to change, and enforcement practices can vary, which means that the possession of a gun without a serial number could put you at risk of criminal charges. These charges might include illegal possession of a firearm or violation of state gun manufacturing laws. If you’re caught with a firearm without a serial number in Pennsylvania, you could face severe penalties, making it crucial to have sound legal advice and representation.

What Is the Penalty for a Ghost Gun in Pennsylvania?

A black handgun sits on the top of a folded shirt in a dresser drawer.

The penalties for a ghost gun charge in Pennsylvania can be severe, reflecting the gravity with which the state views unregistered firearms. Those found guilty of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing ghost guns can face a range of consequences, from heavy fines to significant prison time. The exact penalty often depends on the case’s specific circumstances, such as the individual’s criminal history and the intended use of the untraceable firearm.

For instance, if the gun without a serial number is associated with other criminal activities, the charges could escalate quickly, potentially leading to felony convictions. In addition, legal repercussions may be compounded by federal laws concerning firearms, which can add further complexity to the case. Given these potential penalties, mounting a robust defense is paramount for anyone facing a ghost gun charge in Pennsylvania.

What Happens if You Already Own a Ghost Gun?

If you currently own a ghost gun in Pennsylvania, it’s essential to understand the risks and legal obligations. The state has been tightening regulations around untraceable firearms, and individuals in possession of ghost guns could face legal scrutiny. If you have not committed a crime but are found to own a ghost gun, you may still be subject to penalties for possessing an unserialized firearm.

In some cases, there may be legal pathways to comply with the law, such as adequately registering the firearm or ensuring it has a serial number. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, so taking proactive steps to understand and comply with current gun laws is crucial. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can guide you on how to navigate the situation, own your weapon legally, and mitigate the risk of facing charges.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Owning an Unregistered Gun?

Unregistered firearms, particularly those used under circumstances where other criminal activities are involved, can have significant legal consequences. Unraveling the complexities and presenting a robust defense takes a deep understanding of the law and a strategic approach, which an experienced attorney like Michael Marinaro at Marinaro Law Firm can provide. We know gun laws and can formulate a defense strategy tailored to your specific situation.

Penalties for Ghost Gun Charges

If found guilty of ghost gun charges in Pennsylvania, the repercussions can be profound and life-altering. Due to the severity and risk associated with unregistered firearms, the state often imposes stringent penalties.

Violators may be subjected to various consequences, including but not limited to:

A robber points a gun at another person as they hand over a stack of cash.
  • Monetary Fines: Depending on the case’s specifics, you can incur significant fines. These fines serve as a punishment and a deterrent to discourage future offenses.
  • Incarceration: Offenders may also face imprisonment. The length of time in prison depends on several factors, such as the severity of the offense, whether other illegal activities, especially violent crimes, were associated with the ghost gun, and prior criminal history.
  • Probation: In some cases, the court may impose a period of probation. In such instances, the offender must comply with certain conditions, such as regular visits with a probation officer and maintaining a crime-free lifestyle, often under stringent regulations.
  • Criminal Record: A conviction can result in a permanent criminal record, which can have long-term consequences on your personal and professional life. These consequences include potential difficulties in finding employment, securing a loan, and other aspects where background checks are mandatory.

Given the potential severity of these penalties, it is paramount to engage the services of a competent and experienced legal professional like us if you are faced with ghost gun charges. We can provide a tailored defense strategy and guide you through the complex legal processes involved.

Legal Defenses Against Ghost Gun Charges

Building a defense against ghost gun charges requires a thorough understanding of both federal and state laws. One possible defense is challenging the alleged violation of gun laws based on the specifics of how the gun was obtained or assembled. Legal ownership of the parts and the lack of intent to create an untraceable firearm can be critical factors in your defense.

Another defense could be questioning the legality of how the evidence was obtained against you. The evidence could be deemed inadmissible if law enforcement did not follow proper procedures. Additionally, demonstrating that you were unaware of the gun’s status as a “ghost gun” might be used as part of your legal strategy.

Each case is unique, and an experienced attorney can help you explore every available option to protect your rights and fight the charges you face. It is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible to begin building a solid defense strategy.

Have a Pending Ghost Gun Charge in PA? Defend Your Rights Today!

When facing a ghost gun charge in Pennsylvania, it’s crucial to grasp the gravity of the situation. A ghost gun charge could lead to significant legal consequences, including fines, incarceration, and a permanent criminal record. These firearms, often untraceable and without serial numbers, are a serious concern for law enforcement and the community.

If you or someone you know is facing ghost gun charges in Pennsylvania, you should not handle it alone. Our dedicated team of professionals at Marinaro Law Firm is ready to help, providing you with the legal support, advice, and representation you need to navigate this complex legal situation.


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