Tag Archives: Concealed Carry

Monroe County Sheriff Martin is ENJOINED from Enforcing Unlawful License to Carry Firearms Requirements

On January 16, 2018, Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff, specially presiding, issued an Order unsealing a December 13, 2017 Decision and Order in the John Doe, et al. v. Monroe County, et al. case, which granted a preliminary injunction against the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Todd Martin in relation to their unlawful license to carry firearms (LTCF) requirements. As our viewers are aware from a prior Pocono Record article, I am representing the Plaintiffs in this matter.

The preliminary injunction precludes the Monroe County Sheriff from:

  1. Sending out postcards advising applicants of their license renewal, denial or acceptance;
  2. Requiring applicants to submit Local 1% Earned Income Tax Forms, Federal Income Tax Returns, Pa. State Tax Returns or Real Estate Tax Bills;
  3. Requiring written documentation from an applicant’s doctor as to the specific nature of applicant’s disabilities, as well as, any medications the applicant may be taking due to the disability;
  4. Requiring a copy of the applicant’s Social Security Statement;
  5. Requiring a copy of an applicant’s DD-214 (military discharge papers);
  6. Requiring any references to be Monroe County residents; and,
  7. Requiring an applicant to provide a list of medications that he or she may be prescribed.

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.

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Donald Trump Jr.’s Confidential Firearm License Information is Disclosed by Pennsylvania Judge

The Time-Tribune is reporting that Lackawanna County Judge Thomas Munley disclosed on Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr. applied for a license to carry firearms (LTCF), after Lackawanna County Sheriff Mark McAndrew refused to disclose the purpose of Mr. Trump’s visit, likely due to the confidentiality provisions of all LTCF applicant information.

18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(i) provides in pertinent part:

(i) 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, licensed dealer, 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.

As many of our viewers are aware, a little over a year ago, I was successful in John Doe, et al. v. County of Franklin, et al,. in having the Commonwealth Court declare that the use of unenveloped postcards, where LTCF applicant information was specified on the postcard, was a violation of Section 6111(i). In fact, the court specifically held that:

“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.

It is unknown why Judge Munley felt it necessary to disclose Mr. Trump’ confidential information and reason for being at the Sheriff’s Department.

If you or someone you know has had their confidential license to carry firearms applicant information disclosed, 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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PRESS RELEASE: Amici Curiae Brief of Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Firearms Owners Against Crime, Firearms Policy Coalition, and Firearms Policy Foundation Filed in Pennsylvania Supreme Court!

Today, in a case that will have a major impact on firearm rights in the Commonwealth, Joshua Prince, Esq., Chief Counsel of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (“FICG®”), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., filed an amici curiae brief (or friends of the court brief) before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of numerous members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Firearm Owners Against Crime (“FOAC”), Firearms Policy Coalition (“FPC”) and Firearms Policy Foundation (“FPF”) in support of Mr. Michael Hicks in the matter of Commonwealth v. Hicks, 56 MAP 2017. You can find a copy of the Amici Curiae brief here.

In this case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct. Simply put, the PA Supreme Court intends to decide whether law-abiding citizens can be harassed and interrogated by police for merely open or conceal carrying a firearm.

In the event the Court finds that the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of a crime, all conduct, which can be lawful or unlawful, would be sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion – i.e. Pandora’s box would be opened. For example, police would have reasonable suspicion to stop a boy merely walking down the street with a baseball bat, because that baseball bat could be used for either a lawful or unlawful purpose. Even more abhorrent, the police would have reasonable suspicion to stop someone walking down the street with a wallet, because that wallet may have counterfeit bills within it. Maybe the best example is that the police would have reasonable suspicion to stop EVERY motorist, because the motorist may not have a driver’s license, proof of insurance or proof of inspection. We simply cannot permit this ongoing erosion of our inalienable rights.

It is for these reasons and their steadfast devotion to the Second Amendment and Article 1, Section 21 that a number of members of the General Assembly, Firearms Owners Against Crime, Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation decided that it was imperative that an amici curiae brief be filed.

Unfortunately, the cost to prepare this brief was monumental, since it required review of all relevant state and federal court decisions across the United States; thus, if you are in a position to be able to support the preparation of this brief, Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. would greatly appreciate donations, which can be made online through the Firm’s escrow account here – https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/civilrightsdefensefirm/trust. Simply place Hicks Appeal in the reference box.

 


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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Devastating En Banc Decision Regarding Act 235 Security Guards

Yesterday, in a devastating en banc opinion by the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Commonwealth v. Anderson, it ruled that an individual who is Act 235 certified is not entitled to carry a firearm to and from work, absent a license to carry firearms, regardless of the language in Act 235 that requires a private security guard carry his/her certificate when “on duty or going to and from duty and carrying a lethal weapon.”

The background of the case is explained succinctly by the court, stating:

The charges stem from an altercation on North Dewey Street in Philadelphia on November 3, 2013. Anderson was on his way home from his job as a private security guard, and he stopped at a party to pick up a friend who had asked him to take her home. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest and a security badge or lanyard around his neck, and he was carrying a gun; he stopped his car in the middle of the street. Meanwhile, Mark Ellis drove onto the street behind Anderson and stopped to drop off food at the home of a local resident, Syreeta Manire. After Manire retrieved the food, Ellis quickly proceeded to drive away. Anderson’s car was blocking the street, and Ellis stopped a few feet behind it. Anderson and Ellis then exchanged words. Ellis pulled out a gun, and Anderson tried to grab that gun from him. Shots were fired, and Anderson shot and killed Ellis. A subsequent police investigation determined that Anderson was not licensed to carry a firearm, but that he did possess a valid Act 235 certificate.

The Commonwealth decided not to prosecute Anderson for any homicide-related charges stemming from the shooting. But on January 17, 2014, it charged Anderson with impersonating a police officer and violating two provisions of the PUFA: Section 6106(a)(1), which prohibits carrying a firearm without a license, and Section 6108, which prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm on public streets or public property in Philadelphia.

On February 11, 2014, Anderson filed a motion to quash the PUFA charges. After hearing argument, the trial court granted Anderson’s motion. In an opinion, the court explained that Act 235 requires private security guards to carry a certificate under the Act when “on duty or going to and from duty and carrying a lethal weapon,” and that, in the court’s view, this constitutes “legislatively created permission to carry a firearm on the street while ‘going to and from duty.’” … Therefore, Anderson was “entitled to avail himself of Act 235’s specific permission for him to be carrying a firearm at the time of his arrest” and could not be charged with violating the PUFA.

As the City of Philadelphia was disgruntled with the trial court’s dismissal of these charges, it appealed to the Superior Court.

On August 23, 2017, the Superior Court issued its en banc decision reversing the trial court and re-instituted the charges. After reviewing the history of the Uniform Firearms Act (referred to as PUFA by the court) and Act 235, the court declares that “PUFA requires a person carrying a firearm to have a license, but an Act 235 certificate is not a license and does not function as a type of document that could serve as a substitute for a license.” More specifically, the court states that “An Act 235 certificate thus does not act as the ‘license’ required by Sections 6106 and 6108 of the PUFA and cannot serve as a substitute for that license.”

But some of you are probably saying that he’s exempt under Section 6106(b)(6), which declares:

(b)  Exceptions.  The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

(6) Agents, messengers and other employees of common carriers, banks, or business firms, whose duties require them to protect moneys, valuables and other property in the discharge of such duties.

However, in a mind-boggling evisceration of the statutory language, the court goes on to say that the “exceptions” found in Section 6106(b), even though the statutory text states that subsection (a) shall not apply, are defenses that must be proven at trial. This is truly a manifest injustice, as the General Assembly is acutely aware of how to draft provisions that are “defenses,” as evidenced by 18 Pa.C.S. 912(c), and those that are immunities or exceptions.

Based on the absurdity of this decision, for example, now law enforcement officers, who are found in a courthouse possessing a firearm, are to be prosecuted and have to prove, as a defense, that the firearm was possessed in “lawful performance of official duties” because Section 913(c) makes such possession an “exception.” Even more obscene, the same would be true of “constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers,” since this is an “exception” found in Section 6106(b).

As a result, if you are an Act 235 security guard, it is now imperative that you obtain a license to carry firearms, immediately. Likewise, if you are a law enforcement officer, including constable, sheriff, deputy or police officer, even a Pennsylvania State Trooper, you must immediately obtain a license to carry firearms.

If you or someone you know is being prosecuted for carrying a firearm absent a license to carry firearms, contact FICG today to discuss your 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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Say What?!?! Philadelphia Gun Permit Unit Isn’t All Bad And Is Actively Working To Make Licensing Compliant With The Law

As our readers are likely aware, I have frequently addressed Philadelphia’s arrogance and non-compliance with Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act, 18 Pa.C.S. § 6101, et seq. and have sued them several times in relation thereto, including a prior class action that resulted in a $1.45 million dollar settlement and numerous policy changes. However, I truly believe that we must acknowledge when they take positive steps towards ensuring compliance, even if, there are other issues, where they still are not compliant with the law.

Although I will not disclose the name of the individual within the Gun Permit Unit (commonly referred to as the “GPU”), I can state that there is at least one individual, who holds a significant position within the GPU, who believes that everyone eligible should have at least one firearm and a license to carry firearms (“LTCF”). This individual has been working behind the scenes to change the GPU’s policies that we constantly complain about and which are contrary to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109.

Most recently, I learned that the GPU started tracking the dates of LTCF applications to ensure determinations on licenses are made within 45 calendar days. The GPU worked closely with its IT department, so that it can generate spreadsheets reflecting, among other things, (1) the date of application; (2) deadline date (e.g. 45 calendar days from date of application); (3) the date of PICS denial (if any); (4) date of denial by City (if such occurs); (5) date notification is sent to the applicant; (6)  the date issued; and (7) the elapsed time. This information is frequently being reviewed by an individual in the GPU to ensure the GPU’s  compliance with Section 6109 and to benchmark their processing of LTCFs.

It is my understanding that this was first implemented in March 2017 and that for March the average elapsed time was 28 days! More surprising, although we’re only half way through April, it is my understanding that the average determination time is 14 days! This is a MONUMENTAL improvement that should not go unnoticed. While this doesn’t mean that such is guaranteed to continue or that there won’t be outliers, it is extremely promising.

I also understand that all GPU employees have been trained that if an applicant comes in at or after the 45 day mark and his/her application has not been processed that the file is to be immediately pulled and determination made, which is again a monumental improvement.

Please join me in thanking the GPU in implementing these changes and safeguards to their practices involving the issuance of LTCFs (I bet you never thought you’d hear me say that!).

If you have questions about applying for an LTCF, had your LTCF denied or revoked or had your confidential LTCF applicant information disclosed, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., to discuss your legal rights.


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademarkand 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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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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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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