Tag Archives: CCP

Removal of PA Character and Reputation Clause for an LTCF

Today, Representative Russ Diamond and 20 pro-Second Amendment/Article 1, Section 21 Representatives submitted a new bill, HB 918, which would remove the character and reputation / good cause provision of 18 Pa.C.S. 6109. Many issuing authorities, like Philadelphia and Monroe have utilized the character and reputation provision to prevent law-abiding individuals from obtaining an LTCF.

Representative Diamond’s memo details how a young lady, who has no criminal or mental health background,  was granted an LTCF in one county and after moving to another county, denied her renewal. (Although it was in a different county, since she had a valid LTCF at the time of application, the law supports that such was a renewal, even though with a different issuing authority.) Furthermore, Representative Diamond’s memo explains how the character and reputation clause is violative of Article 2, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, as it is an unlawful delegation of power, supported by legions of PA Supreme Court case law.

Please support HB 918 by contacting your Pennsylvania Representatives and requesting that they co-sponsor or support HB 918. Together, we can remove this unconstitutional provision that permits the unequal application of the law and preempt issuing authorities from revoking resident’s Article 1, Section 21 rights!

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Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

Delaware Backpedals on Concealed Carry Changes

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The Delaware Attorney General’s Office has changed the information which appears on its website in relation to the reciprocity agreements of concealed carry permits with other states. Earlier this week I wrote that Delaware had changed its reciprocity agreements. At the time, the verbiage on the website was very clear (that being all non-resident permits from the states Delaware had agreements with would not be recognized after September 23, 2017).

As a number of readers and commenters on Facebook seemed to be confused as to the applicability of the language, I called the Attorney General’s Office to seek clarification. I was transferred to the individual who would have knowledge of the matter only to receive his voicemail. I followed up the following day only to be transferred back into voicemail. To date, I have not received a call back (which at this point is rather moot). Some time after the original blog article was posted, the website was updated to remove the language that was causing disdain amongst the firearms community.

The new language states that “[t]he list of states with reciprocal privileges is published on January 15 each year. Any additional reciprocal states would be posted on January 15 and be effective immediately. The removal of reciprocal privileges from any state would be posted by January 15 to take effect one year later.”

It goes on to state that the AG’s Office is currently reviewing the approval procedures for individuals in other states to acquire concealed carry permits to see if they meet the requirements of the Delaware Code to be recognized in Delaware. If the AG’s Office determines that they do not meet the requirements, notice will be published January 15, 2018 and the official change in recognition will occur the following year (January 15, 2019).

The AG’s Office does issue an apology for the confusion of the language that was posted from February 10-15th.

As always, we strive to give our readers the best and correct information. If you read the original article and shared it via Facebook, email, or some other method, I hope that you will forward along the updated information so that those around you can be in the know.

 

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Filed under Firearms Law, Uncategorized

Monumental Decision from Commonwealth Court on Confidentiality of License to Carry Firearms Applicant Information

On Friday, May 20th, 2016, the Commonwealth Court issued a monumental decision in John Doe, et al., v. Franklin County, et al., 1634 C.D. 2015, a case that I litigated, where it declared that the disclosure of license to carry firearms (“LTCF”) applicant information to anyone other than law enforcement acting within the scope of their official duties or the applicant (or someone approved by the applicant) violates 18 Pa.C.S. 6111(i), which results 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.”

In a 45 page decision, which reviewed, inter alia, the history of Section 6111(i), the constitutionality of its enactment, the Pennsylvania State Police’s own regulations relating to it and whether a Sheriff can claim High Public Official Immunity in relation to it, the Commonwealth Court declared

“any person, licensed dealer, State or local governmental agency or department” violates Section 6111(i) of the UFA by revealing an “applicant’s name or identity” to a person not (1) authorized to receive such information by statute; (2) involved in the operation or management of the sheriff’s office; (3) representing a law enforcement or criminal justice agency; or (4) otherwise authorized by an applicant. Any other interpretation of Section 6111(i) of the UFA where a License applicant’s confidentiality is not safeguarded would be inconsistent with the UFA’s purpose and structure.

The Court also found that Defendants’ challenge to the constitutionality of how Section 6111(i) was enacted was untimely whether under the doctrine of laches, as Plaintiffs argued, or whether under the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Sernovitz v. Dershaw. Accordingly, although Plaintiffs additionally argued that Section 6111(i) was constitutionally enacted, the Court stated that due to the failure of Defendants, or any other party, to bring a challenge regarding its enactment in the past 18 years, any challenge was now untimely.

Furthermore, the Court found that the Sheriff was not entitled to High Public Official Immunity pursuant to Section 6111(i) and therefore declined to consider whether High Public Official Immunity is unconstitutional pursuant to Art 1, Section 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, as Plaintiffs had additionally argued.

Unfortunately, although 18 Pa.C.S. 6109(h) explicitly states that $1.50 of the fee paid is for purposes of the issuing authority sending the renewal notice, the Court declined to find that a civil cause of action exists for a Sheriff’s failure to issue renewal notices. Although the Plaintiffs brought a common law claim for breach of fiduciary duties, the Court found the Defendants were protected from that claim by the Political Tort Claims Subdivision Act.

While I am disappointed with certain determinations of the Court, I was pleased to see that many of my arguments and research were utilized by the Court in its decision and that it reached the proper conclusion regarding the confidentiality of LTCF applicant information.

If your confidential LTCF information was disclosed in some manner, whether via postcard, sign-in sheet or otherwise, contact us today so we can discuss your rights. You can reach us at info@princelaw.com or 888-313-0416.

 

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Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

Places in PA that Individuals are Prohibited from Carrying at or in, even with a License to Carry Firearms

The question frequently arises as to where an individual with a valid License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) may not carry his/her firearm. For purposes of this article, I will focus strictly on State law places and not the federal place that are prohibited.

1. Court Facilities – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 913 and individual may not carry a firearm in a court facility. A court facility is defined as “The courtroom of a court of record; a courtroom of a community court; the courtroom of a magisterial district judge; a courtroom of the Philadelphia Municipal Court; a courtroom of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court; a courtroom of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia; judge’s chambers; witness rooms; jury deliberation rooms; attorney conference rooms; prisoner holding cells; offices of court clerks, the district attorney, the sheriff and probation and parole officers; and any adjoining corridors.” However, if conspicuous notice of this prohibition is not placed at the entrance of the court facility or the person does not have actual knowledge of the prohibition, that person cannot be charged with violating the law. Lastly, all court facilities must make lockers available for the checking of firearms and other dangerous items.

2. Casinos – Pursuant to Title 58 of the Pennsylvania Code, Part I, Chapter 44, Subsection 465a.13, an individual is prohibited from carrying a deadly weapon (firearm), stun gun, or other device designed to injure or incapacitate a person, within a licensed facility. However, the Code does provide that you can submit a written request to the Board for permission to carry deadly weapons. UPDATE: Attorney General Kathleen Kane issued an opinion that the Gaming Control Board’s regulation of firearms was preempted. Seehttps://blog.princelaw.com/2014/09/14/attorney-general-kanes-opinion-on-commonwealth-agencies-regulating-possession-of-firearms/

3. Elementary and Secondary School (both public and private) – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 912, an individual is prohibited from carrying on schools grounds and in school buildings. However, there is a defense to prosecution under this section of, “It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.” Unfortunately, “other lawful purpose” is not defined and the courts have not weighed in on whether a valid LTCF is a lawful purpose. UPDATE: The Superior Court, en banc, acknowledged that an individual in entitled to the defense, where the individual lawfully possesses a lawful weapon for a lawful purpose (i.e. not an unlawful purpose). Seehttps://blog.princelaw.com/2017/02/16/the-goslin-decisions-impact-on-possessing-weapons-on-school-property/

4. Detention Facilities, Correctional Institutes, or Mental Hospitals – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 5122 and 61 Pa.C.S. 5902,  an individual cannot bring a weapon into a Detention Facility, Correctional Institute, or Mental Hospital.

5. Private Property – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 3503, where the individual is notified, either orally or in writing, that he/she is not permitted on the property with a firearm.

6. Certain Department of State Buildings – See, 49 Pa. Code 61.3.

7. Loaded Long Gun in a Vehicle – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 6106.1, it is unlawful to carry a loaded shotgun or rifle in one’s vehicle.

8. Veteran Affairs (VA) Facilities – Pursuant to 38 C.F.R. 1.218, it is unlawful to carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, except for official purposes. This would also seemingly apply to National Cemeteries run by the VA. See, http://www.cem.va.gov, for a listing.

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Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law