It recently came to my attention that GunSenseUS – in direct violation of Pennsylvania law – is threatening in a two page letter to send press releases to local papers, if PA Sheriffs do not agree to disclose confidential license to carry firearms (“LTCF”) applicant information.
Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 6111(g)(3.1), in pertinent part:
Any person … who knowingly and intentionally obtains or furnishes information collected or maintained pursuant to section 6109 for any purpose other than compliance with this chapter or who knowingly or intentionally disseminates, publishes or otherwise makes available such information to any person other than the subject of the information commits a felony of the third degree
Thereafter, 18 Pa.C.S. 6111(i) provides, in pertinent part:
Confidentiality.–All information provided by the … applicant, including, but not limited to, the … applicant’s name or identity, furnished by … any applicant for a license to carry a firearm as provided by section 6109 shall be confidential and not subject to public disclosure. In addition to any other sanction or penalty imposed by this chapter, any person, … State or local governmental agency or department that violates this subsection shall be liable in civil damages in the amount of $1,000 per occurrence or three times the actual damages incurred as a result of the violation, whichever is greater, as well as reasonable attorney fees
The inchoate crimes of criminal attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy can be found in 18 Pa.C.S. 901, 902 and 903, respectively, and, per Section 905, for grading purposes, “are crimes of the same grade and degree as the most serious offense which is attempted or solicited or is an object of the conspiracy” In this vein, it is my hope that District Attorneys in counties where Sheriffs have received this letter will immediately file charges against GunSenseUS and their officers, directors, and members responsible for the letters, including President of GunSenseUS, Ann Colby-Cummings, who signed the letters.
As I have written about previously, due to the confidential nature of all LTCF applicant information, many PA Sheriffs do not send out notices to any references listed on an LTCF application and the City of Philadelphia previously agreed to an injunction against it from contacting any references specified on an LTCF application. This is due to nothing within the licensing statute – 18 Pa.C.S. 6109 – requiring or even mentioning references. I also previously had the honor of representing Perry County Sheriff Nace when he was sued by the County Commissioner, demanding that he turn over confidential LTCF applicant information and I was successful in having the complaint dismissed. Moreover, I have handled two class actions against the City of Philadelphia (first a $1.4 million dollar settlement for the disclosure of confidential LTCF applicant information through an interactive map and second a $500,000 settlement for the disclosure of confidential LTCF applicant information through the use of unenveloped postcards) and have one pending against Franklin County and another against Monroe County, where a class of more than 17,000 individuals has been certified.
If you or someone you know has had their confidential license to carry firearms applicant information disclosed or are being required to provide information for a license to carry firearms, which is not provided for in the licensing provision, 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.