Yesterday, the Firearm Industry Consulting Group, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., filed a complaint against the United States and numerous other individuals in the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Mr. Hertzler, an Amish man, who is being denied his “core right” to purchase and possess a handgun for purposes of self-defense in his home, because federal law requires that he produce identification, bearing a photograph, which violates his core religious beliefs.
Specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1)(c) requires that a Federal Firearms Licensee only transfer a firearm to an individual who produces “a valid identification document (as defined in section 1028(d) of this title) of the transferee containing a photograph of the transferee.” As Mr. Hertzler’s sincerely held religious beliefs preclude him from knowingly and willingly having his photograph taken, Mr. Hertzler is unable to meet the requirements of Section 922(t); thereby, requiring him to either forego his constitutional right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself and his home or violate his religious tenants. Even Pennsylvania law acknowledges Mr. Hertzler’s religious beliefs and provides for non-photo ID and drivers licenses and for the ability of an individual to purchase a firearm with non-photo ID, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(b)(2). However, federal law fails to include such an exception, in violation of the Second Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
We will keep our viewers apprised as this case proceeds forward