from the Judgment of Sentence June 2, 2015 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Lancaster County Criminal Division No(s):
BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., BOWES, PANELLA, LAZARUS, OTT,
STABILE, DUBOW, MOULTON, and RANSOM, JJ.
Appellant, Andrew Josiah Goslin, appeals from the Judgment of
Sentence entered in the Lancaster County Court of Common
Pleas on June 2, 2015. Following a bench trial, the trial
court convicted Appellant of one count of Possession of
Weapon on School Property, a first-degree misdemeanor. 18
Pa.C.S. § 912(b). After reviewing the record and
applicable law, we vacate Appellant's Judgment of
Sentence and order a new trial on the ground that the trial
court erred in not properly interpreting and applying the
plain language of the statutory defense to Possession of
Weapon on School Property. 18 Pa.C.S. § 912(c).
and Procedural History
August 28, 2014, Appellant's son was suspended from
elementary school for three days for bringing a knife to
school. On September 4, 2014, at 2:45 PM, Appellant and his
wife attended a meeting at the school to discuss the
disciplinary action with school administrators. N.T., 6/2/15,
at 19. Appellant arrived at the meeting directly from his job
as a carpenter. N.T. at 29-31.
Appellant arrived at the conference, he had in his pocket a
3-4 inch pocketknife that he uses not only at work as a
carpenter, but also to sharpen pencils, whittle sticks with
his sons, and "open tuna cans when my wife forgets to
pack me a tuna can opener." Id. at 26, 30-31.
the meeting, Appellant removed the knife from his pocket and
placed it forcefully on a conference table around which the
meeting attendees were seated and asked whether he would be
arrested. Id. at 20, 31-32.
the meeting, on September 14, 2014, the police charged
Appellant with Possession of Weapon on School Property as
well as Terroristic Threats with Intent to Terrorize
Another. The trial court dismissed the latter
charge on December 9, 2014.
court held a bench trial on June 2, 2015 on the charge of
Possession of Weapon on School Property and rejected
Appellant's defense that he had the pocketknife on school
property "for other lawful purpose[s]" because the
ostensible lawful purposes were not related to school
activities. The trial court found Appellant guilty and
sentenced him to one year of probation. Appellant timely
appealed. Appellant and the trial court complied
with Pa.R.A.P. 1925.
raises the following issues for review, which we have
reordered for ease of disposition:
1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion, committed
an error of law, or violated constitutional rights of
Appellant by finding that the defense of "other lawful
purpose" in 18 Pa.C.S. § ...