PA Gun Law Update: Conceal Carry Permit Deadline Extended & Medical Marijuana Patients
I’ve written previous blog articles, made videos, and done podcasts on concealed carry permits and Medical Marijuana Cards in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Deadline Extended
Right now, due to the COVID shutdown, a person isn’t able to obtain a concealed carry permit in Pennsylvania and many are concerned that approved permits will expire or have already expired during the shutdown. On April 1, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that all permits that expired on March 19, 2020 have been extended to May 20, 2020. Learn more about Pennsylvania gun laws now
The extension is necessary due to the closure of county courthouses and sheriff’s offices in places such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties. The concealed carry permit will also limit the spread of COVID-19.
Remember in Pennsylvania any individual 21 years of age or older may apply for a license to carry a firearm by submitting a completed application to the sheriff of the county of which they reside. In Philadelphia, the process is a little different because it is considered a first class city and all applications must go to the Chief of Police. Following the submission of the application, law enforcement has 45 days to investigate and determine an individual’s eligibility for a concealed carry permit. Remember that a license to carry a firearm is required in order for a person to carry a concealed handgun on their person or in their vehicle. Any person who carries a firearm concealed, outside of their home or place of business without a permit, is potentially guilty of a felony of the 3rd degree but there are situations where it can be graded as a misdemeanor.
Medical Marijuana Patients & Gun Ownership in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania a person is able to possess approved forms of medical marijuana provided that they obtain a valid patient medical marijuana card. This however is Pennsylvania law and the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives prohibit the acquisition, possession, or control of a firearm (i.e. handgun) by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance. This remains the Department of Justice’s position regardless of whether or not a state like Pennsylvania or New Jersey has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
If you’re a medical marijuana user you are not allowed to purchase or possess a firearm. In addition, you cannot obtain or even renew a Pennsylvania license to carry a firearm (LTC) because again, under federal law you are not allowed you not allowed to even own one! Marijuana is listed in the controlled substance act as a Schedule I controlled substance and there are not exceptions in federal law for marijuana. See 18 USC § 922(g)(3).
Filing a False Gun Application
Remember it is a crime to falsify a gun permit application in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and “I didn’t know” isn’t a defense but merely potential mitigation evidence. Finally, remember that the illegal possession of a handgun in New Jersey carries with it a mandatory minimum sentence. While Pennsylvania doesn’t impose a mandatory minimum, it is still a felony offense which cannot be expunged for any reason.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in PA & NJ
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