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Criminal defense counsel may contest gun charges vs. student

Most people are understandably nervous about guns and ammunition after the many mass shootings that have plagued the country in the past few years. It was therefore a given that a college student who is accused of displaying a gun recently inside a Pennsylvania college and saying that he was upset, would be immediately confronted by authorities and arrested on gun charges. When the police searched his truck, they say that they found 200 rounds of ammunition and a disassembled semi-automatic rifle in the vehicle. Despite the incriminating sound of the reported facts, he may nonetheless have at least a chance to present a criminal defense to one or more of the charges.

The 28-year-old student had entered a building at Marywood University in Scranton with a gun visibly showing in his waistband, according to witnesses. He had a conversation with another student in which he told the student that he was having a hard time adjusting as a college student and that other students had been upsetting him. When the police arrived on campus, they found him outside in his truck.

Police say that he admitted to taking a gun inside the science building. However, he reportedly stated that he had no intention of hurting anyone. Based on recent events on the national scene, the student’s actions with the gun were unbelievably ill-timed. Police arrested him on several undisclosed charges, presumably relating to allegations of gun and ammunition possession.

It is unlikely that the police arrested the suspect on assault or terrorizing charges pursuant to Pennsylvania law. There appear to be no facts indicating that he threatened anyone or made any threatening gestures. There is no evidence that the man violated the law while in the building or in his truck, except for the violations that may have been committed with respect to gun charges. Indeed, the fact that he went back to his truck without having created a disruption inside the science building appears to leave some room for a viable criminal defense to at least some of the concerns alleged against him.

Source:, “Pa. college student arrested after bringing weapons on campus“, Oct. 6, 2017

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Louis Emmi

Louis Emmi