Year in Review: Major Pennsylvania and Federal Firearm Law Cases from 2018

As the year is coming to a close, we thought it important to document some of the monumental court decisions and issues that Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., was involved in or obtained in 2018.

  1. Franklin v. Sessions, et al. – in a monumental federal case of first impression, Judge Kim Gibson of the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that an involuntary commitment under Section 302 of Pennsylvania’s Mental Health and Procedures Act (“MHPA”) is insufficient to trigger a federal firearms and ammunition disability under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4). As a result of this decision, we have had several magistrate judges throw out criminal charges stemming from an applicants putative false statement in relation to the purchase of a firearm or application for a license to carry.
  2. Holloway v. Sessions, et al., – in another federal case of monumental importance and case of first impression, Judge Chief Judge Christopher Connor of the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that it was unconstitutional as-applied to Mr. Holloway to preclude him in perpetuity from exercising his Second Amendment rights as a result of a 2005 DUI.
  3. Haron v. PSP – in another case of first impression, the Commonwealth Court entered the first ever financial judgment against the Pennsylvania State Police for violations of the Criminal History Record Information Act, which was later affirmed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This case stemmed out of the PSP’s failure to maintain proper criminal records, which resulted in an individual being erroneously denied his Second Amendment right by the PSP.
  4. Commonwealth v. Hicks – in response to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s grant of an appeal to consider whether the mere open carrying of a firearm constitutes reasonable suspicion of a crime, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince drafted an filed an Amici Curiae Brief on behalf of Members of the PA General Assembly, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and Firearm Owners Against Crime. We are still awaiting a decision from the PA Supreme Court.
  5. John Doe, et al. v. Monroe County, et al. – in relation to numerous unlawful policies enacted and enforced by the Monroe County Sheriff in relation to license to carry firearm applications and renewals, Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff issued an Order enjoining the Monroe County Sheriff from enforcing his policies.
  6. A.R. et al. v. City of Philadelphia – on October 12, 2018, a Final Order was issued approving a $500,000 settlement with the City of Philadelphia in relation to its disclosure of confidential license to carry firearms applicant information through the use of unenveloped postcards.
  7. In response to the ATF’s proposed regulation of bumpstocks, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and Attorney Adam Kraut drafted and filed a massive (900+ page) comment in opposition on behalf of Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation. Although the ATF published a final rule in the Federal Register on December 26, 2018, Chief Counsel Prince and Attorney Kraut filed a lawsuit challenging the final rule on behalf of Mr. Guedes, Firearms Policy Foundation and numerous other individuals and entities. If you are in a position to donate to this massive litigation, Firearms Policy Foundation and the other plaintiffs would be extremely thankful. Donations can be made here.
  8. Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and Attorney Adam Kraut testified before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee regarding a number of anti-Second Amendment and anti-Article 1, Section 21 proposals that were submitted. Unfortunately, although only one – HB 2060 – made it to a vote, it was enacted and even after its enactment, numerous Representatives refused to admit the monumental resultant impact on Second Amendment rights in Pennsylvania.
  9. Governor Wolf has continued to restrict individuals’ rights to keep and bear arms through the issuance of states of emergency in relation to the opioid crisis.
  10. In response to the City of Pittsburgh’s announcement that it intends to enact several unlawful firearm regulations, Chief Counsel Prince submitted a letter detailing the illegal nature of the proposals.

So what can we expect for next year?

  1. Hopefully, a preliminary injunction being granted against the U.S. Government, precluding its implementation and enforcement of the bumpstock rulemaking.
  2. Allegheny County Sportsmens League and Firearm Owners Against Crime filing suit against the City of Pittsburgh, if it enacts any form of firearm regulation.
  3. Numerous anti-Second Amendment proposals being submitted at the state and federal levels.

How can you stay abreast of important decisions and FICG’s machinegun shoots? Head over to our Newsletter signup page and select the newsletters that you wish to receive!


If you or someone you know has had their right to keep and bear arms infringed, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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