On July 20, 2015, the Commonwealth filed a Notice of Appeal with the Commonwealth Court in relation to its decision in Leach, et al. v. Commonwealth, et al., 585 M.D. 2014, regarding the constitutionality of Act 192, which, inter alia, provided for attorney fees and costs, when a municipality violates 18 Pa.C.S. 6120. Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court docketed the appeal as 61 MAP 2015. You can find a copy of the docket here.
Category Archives: Firearms Law
Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG)®, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., will be hosting our ninth bi-annual machine gun shoot at Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun Club on October 17, 2015, in celebration of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution, and Article 1, Section 21 of the PA Constitution. Eastern Lancaster Rod and Gun Club is located at 966 Smyrna Road, Kinzers, PA 17535. It will start at 11am and go until 4pm. From 11am until 2:30pm, it will be unsuppressed and suppressed fire. From 2:30pm until 4pm, only suppressed fire will be allowed. Come on out an meet FICG Chief Counsel and your PA Gun Attorney, Joshua Prince, as well as, our other FICG attorneys!
Everyone, over 18 years of age, is welcome to attend. We are sorry but the insurer will not allow anyone under 18 to participate. There will be a small area for observers, under the age of 18, to watch the shoot. The only requirement is that you bring a driver’s license and hearing and eye protection. All attendees will be required to sign a waiver.
There will be several dealers and manufacturers in attendance and which will have some unique firearms for rent that you might not otherwise have an opportunity to shoot. We are still waiting for confirmation of the dealers that will be in attendance and will update this blog, as they confirm. While you are welcome to bring your own firearms and ammunition, it will be up to the owner of the firearm as to whether he/she will permit you to use your ammunition in his/her firearm. The FFLs will be bringing ammunition for purchase, if you need additional or if they require certain types of ammunition to be used in their weapon systems.
We expect that several celebrities and politicians will be in attendance. When we are able to confirm their attendance, we will post about who will be attending.
Also, Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun will be making food and have drinks available, at extremely reasonable prices. There will be breakfast available again this time starting around 9am! Most attendees at the last shoot couldn’t get over how the Club could make any money on the food sold!
We are requiring that each person donate at least $10 to the Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun Club for their generous permission to use their range. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
In the recent year, we have seen a drastic increase in attorneys purporting to handle firearms law issues; yet, many have not handled a firearms law issue, have stolen our copyrighted content and/or have provided ineffective assistance of counsel to their clients. Accordingly, it is imperative that any prospective client properly vet an attorney prior to executing an engagement letter, let alone, at the time of being in the middle of the criminal process.
Recently, I spoke with an individual who fell prey to one of these firms. He was being prosecuted for making false statements in relation to the purchase of a firearm. His trial was less than a month away and the firm, other than advising him to turn down Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (“ARD” – which would NOT have resulted in a conviction), never filed an Omnibus motion or took any action to provide him with a defense, other than ignorance of the law…which, even non-attorneys are aware, is not a defense. Unfortunately for him, he is looking at substantial veracity charges and the District Attorney may no longer be willing to offer him ARD.
And then, there are those hundreds of clients that I have spoken to in the past year, where they were advised by their criminal defense attorney, sometimes a very esteemed and competent criminal defense attorney, that pleading guilty would not affect their firearm rights. After probation, they attempt to purchase a firearm, are denied and the Pennsylvania State Police brings charges against them for making false statements on the ATF 4473 form. In one such case, even an extremely knowledgeable judge stated on the record during sentencing that although the individual would be prohibited during probation, he would not lose his Second Amendment rights in perpetuity. That individual also attempted to purchase a firearm after being released from probation and was denied…
While I might have generally suggested that an individual start by reviewing the attorney’s or law firm’s website, this past year or so, our copyrighted information was stolen from our website and posted on another law firm’s website, so to convey to a prospective client that the other law firm was substantially experienced in firearms law matters. While it is flattering that the law firm recognized our substantial experience in the Firearms Industry and understood that our information was reliable, the theft of copyrighted information is criminal and there exists substantial civil remedies, as well.
Unfortunately, the theft of our website information was not the extent of other law firms taking our copyrighted materials in an attempt to mislead potential clients. In the last month, we became aware that a different law firm infringed upon our Gun Trust copyright and was selling it for a premium, over the fee that we charge. We also became aware that Attorney David Goldman of http://www.GunTrustLawyer.com recently had his copyrighted gun trust stolen by a competitor in another state.
While not as blatant, as they have at least changed the positioning of words and the sentence structure, some law firms have encroached upon our copyrighted information posted to our blog. It is absolutely amazing when you read our post, next to theirs, which were issued only several hours or days after ours. Again, while it is flattering, infringement on our intellectual property and misleading consumers should not be tolerated.
On a different front, following in our footsteps, some have started to offer seminars to the public on firearms law matters. Unfortunately, we have witnessed many occasions were they provide incorrect legal advice. Of course, the attendee is unaware of the incorrect information and if he/she relies on it to his/her detriment, it will be that individual that ends up being charged criminally.
While we welcome healthy competition, when another law firm elects to infringe upon our intellectual property and provide ineffective assistance of counsel, we cannot sit idly by and permit the consumer from being injured by misrepresentations. Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to provide you with proper questions to ask in this forum, as those other law firms are already reading our blog and will simply devise answers to those questions to completely undermine the credibility of any responses. The best advice that we can provide is to research your attorney, prior to hiring him/her. Review their bio and prior cases litigated, including those specific cases where the attorney is counsel of record. In that vein, see if their website or postings provide links to actual filings and review any relevant filings. Identify cases and issues where high-profile individuals and entities in the Firearms Industry have retained a particular attorney or firm and where that firm has been authorized to publicly acknowledge its representation of that individual or entity. Ask questions that only someone who lives, breathes and sleeps firearms law will know the answer to. And most importantly, check with your friends and family as to whether they have ever utilized an attorney in the context of a firearms law matter, as there generally is no better referral than from a former client.
If you ever have a firearms law issue, we are more than happy to assist you in the complex maze of state and federal laws and regulations. At Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG), our history, blogs and experience in representing those in the Firearms Industry show our steadfast devotion and dedication to protecting Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When you want the best representation, we’ll be here to represent you and your grandchildren.
Lower Merion Township’s Preliminary Objections in Relation to its Unlawful Firearm Ordinance are DENIED
Today, the Honorable Steven Tolliver of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas issued a decision and order denying Lower Merion Township’s Preliminary Objections requesting that the complaint filed by Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC) and other plaintiffs be dismissed.
In so ruling, Judge Tolliver not only found that the individual plaintiffs sufficiently averred standing to challenge Lower Merion Township’s Ordinance 109-16 (regulating firearms in township parks) but also found that FOAC had established standing on behalf of its members. Judge Tolliver also found that Plaintiffs had sufficiently averred a right to relief.
Lower Merion Township now has 20 days to file an Answer to the Complaint and the action will proceed thereafter. Also, a hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction is scheduled for August 24th.
I am aware that some purchasers of Colt firearms are concerned with the announcement earlier this month that the company has filed for bankruptcy. Please note that Colt’s press release on the subject found here explains that Colt requested that the Bankruptcy Court approve its “requests to protect trade creditors, vendors, and suppliers thereby allowing for its operations to continue uninterrupted during the Bankruptcy Court supervised sales process.” In short, if you have paid for a purchase and are awaiting delivery of a firearm or if you returned a firearm for repair, Colt has said that the corporate restructuring will not interfere with “normal business operations”.
If you have a more substantial financial interest in Colt — as a shareholder or bondholder or lender — you may want to consult with an attorney who handles bankruptcy matters for further explanation of the potential impact upon your interests.
On July 25, 2015, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and Attorney Eric Winter of Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., in conjunction with King Shooters Supply, will offer a four (4) hour seminar on state and federal firearms law at their store located at 346 E Church Rd, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.
The cost is $10 and you must register early, as last time it sold out fast. You can find out further information on King Shooters Supply’s website or on King Shooters Supply’s FB page. All registrations are to be mailed or dropped off at King Shooters Supply, 346 E Church Rd, King of Prussia PA 19406. If you have questions, please feel free to contact King Shooters Supply at 610-491-9901 .
PA Supreme Court Decision in Musau Affects Firearms Rights – Ability to Obtain Relief from Certain DUIs!
I previously blogged about the Monumental Firearms Law related Decision from the Superior Court in relation to DUI. In Commonwealth v. Musau, 2013 PA Super 159, the Superior Court held that an individual who, during a first or second DUI, refused to provide blood or breath testing, could only be punished by a maximum of six (6) months in jail, although it is graded as a misdemeanor of the 1st degree. As the maximum sentence that could be imposed was six months, although graded as a misdemeanor of the 1st degree, such a conviction would not trigger the federal disability, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922.
While the Commonwealth filed a Petition for Review with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court regarding the Superior Court’s decision in Musau, which was docketed at 510 EAL 2013, the General Assembly acted and amended the law, which was signed by former Governor Corbett on October 27, 2014. As a result, SB 1239 effectively changed section 3802, so that the maximum sentence that can be imposed upon an individual who, during a first or second DUI, refuses to provide blood or breath testing, is five years, which consistent with most misdemeanors of the first degree.
BUT, the PA Supreme Court took no action on the appeal of the Superior Court’s decision in Musau. That is until June 10, 2015, when the Court DENIED the Commonwealth’s Petition for Review. This means that the Superior Court’s decision in Musau is still controlling.
Therefore, if you or a family member were convicted of a first or second DUI, where you/they refused to submit to chemical testing, you may have the ability to petition the court to have your conviction properly reflect the sentencing, which could not be punished by more than six (6) months and therefore would not trigger a state or federal firearms disability. Under the Post-Conviction Relief Act, time is LIMITED.
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