Pa. court upholds conviction of man who claimed ‘lawful purpose’ for knife at school

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a Lancaster County man who claimed to have a “lawful purpose” for taking a knife to an elementary school.

Andrew J. Goslin
Andrew J. Goslin

Andrew J. Goslin, 32, asked Superior Court for a new trial after he was convicted last year of possessing a weapon on school property and sentenced to a year of probation.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman’s office said Goslin took a knife to Providence Elementary School and placed it on a table during a 2014 meeting with administrators after his son was disciplined for having a knife at school.

Pennsylvania law allows weapons on school grounds when the weapon is possessed by security personnel or police, used in conjunction with a supervised school activity, or possessed for a “lawful purpose.”

In his appeal, Goslin argued that he is a carpenter and always carries a knife “every day, everywhere.” Superior Court ruled that “lawful purpose” does not mean any lawful purpose, but one that is related to school.

Stedman’s office said it was the first time an appellate court issued a binding ruling on what constitutes “lawful purpose” of a weapon on school grounds.

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