FICG Sues U.S. Government Over Picture Requirement To Purchase a Firearm

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

6 thoughts on “FICG Sues U.S. Government Over Picture Requirement To Purchase a Firearm

  1. Ideologically speaking, this person “wants to have his cake and eat it too.” He doesn’t want to assimilate into modern society, but now wants to make use to implements of modern society’s as a result of modern American advancements.

    I’m usually in agreement with your writings and opinions, but allowing someone, without a government issues ID w/photograph, to purchase a firearms can potentially set a precedent allowing unidentified persons, (such as illegal aliens and other prohibited possessors), to purchase and posses a firearm. This will result in no ability to positively identify the purchaser. There’s a security element that needs to be maintained in order to prevent today’s nefarious criminal elements, (such as illegal aliens and foreign extremists) from using such precedents, exceptions and loopholes to their advantage regarding the purchase and possessing of firearms. Allowing this would also lend itself to what is refereed to “Straw Purchases.”

    If this person would like to maintain his lifestyle and religious beliefs have him become or hire a Blacksmith to fabricate a Cap and Ball Musket. If he/she would like to partake in modern Americana and purchase a modern firearms all they have to do is just obtain an government.. This is less a 2nd amendment issue than a person’s choice of lifestyle.

    The above post is an example of some of the possible opinions and obstacles that your case might encounter.

    Good luck and keep up the good work.


    1. When the Constitution was ratified with the Bill of Rights acknowledging those inalienable rights that no Government can restrict or otherwise impede, there was no requirement for identification to be provided to purchase a firearm, let alone photo identification. Additionally, think about all the ways that our identities are verified, absent photo identification, in today’s world. When’s the last time that you had to produce photo identification for a credit card? What about for a mortgage? Do you need to produce photo ID before exercising your First Amendment Rights?

      The attack on religious freedoms, as protected by the First Amendment, needs to end. No person should be forced to choose between their First and Second Amendment Rights. Just like, no person should have to choose between their First and Fourth or Fifth Amendment Rights. “modern America” is immaterial. If you don’t like what the Constitution says, there is an amendment process. It is NOT for the court’s to legislate from the bench or interpret in the context of today. The Constitution was never intended to be, nor supports it being, a living breathing document, as the amendment process would have been unnecessary and contrary to such an intent. Many forget that our Founding Fathers provide us with a Republic, not a Democracy, because the intent was to protect even the minority’s rights.


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