Tag Archives: gun

FICG On Behalf of FOAC Files Letter In Response To Jenks Township’s Proposed Illegal Firearm Ordinance

Today, it was reported by ExploreClarion.com that Jenks Township was considering enacting an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms in the township.

 

CI_865495-1_Page_1.jpg

As a result, Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., on behalf of its client, Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), filed a letter in opposition to the proposal; wherein, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince explains the constitutional and statutory protections and case law precluding such regulation. In the event Jenks Township moves forward with the proposal, FOAC is prepared to file a legal challenge against the Township and request the District Attorney to file criminal charges for violations of Section 6120.

If you would like to donate to support this matter, 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 FOAC v. Jenks Township  in the reference box.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of an unlawful municipal firearm or ammunition regulation or ordinance, 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.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

York County Magistrate Judge Dismisses Charges of Making False Statements in Relation to Prior Putative Mental Health Commitment

Today, Attorney Eric Winter successfully argued for dismissal of charges before a York County Magistrate Judge. The charges were filed by the York County Sheriff in relation to a putative false statement our client made when applying for a license to carry firearms (“LTCF”).

In arguing that our client had not been committed to a mental institution, Attorney Winter argued that the recent decision by Federal District Court Judge Kim Gibson precluded any finding that our client had been involuntarily committed, regardless of any 302 commitment. Specifically, in Franklin v. Sessions, et al., Judge Gibson found that a Section 302 commitment under the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Procedures Act was not sufficient to trigger a federal disability.

After dismissing the charges, the Magistrate Judge asked the York County Sergeant who had filed the charges as to whether the “other cases, merely based on a 302 commitment, would be dismissed.” To our astonishment, the Sergeant replied that the charges filed against the other individuals would not be dismissed, as not everyone has a lawyer to defend against the charges. Thankfully, the Magistrate Judge stated that such was unfortunate, since he, as both an attorney and judge, was ethically bound to equally apply the law and that the established law precluded any individual from being charged for making false statement in relation to a 302 commitment. He went on to say that any charges filed against individuals for allegedly making false statements in relation solely to a 302 commitment would be dismissed.

Please join us in congratulating Attorney Winter and the Magistrate Judge in York County for ensuring that our constitutional rights are never infringed!

If you or someone you know has been involuntarily committed and are either under charges for making false statement or are now prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms and ammunition, 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.

1 Comment

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

Lose Your Second Amendment Rights if You Violate Section 6107 as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Opioid Proclamation

As our viewers are aware, on January 10th, when Governor Wolf issued his Opioid Proclamation, which triggered the prohibitions of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107, I addressed the issue in my article – With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearm Rights by Proclaiming State of Emergency. Thereafter, Governor Wolf’s Office issued a canned statement stating that the Proclamation did not effect firearm rights, but failed to address the issues that I raised, which resulted in my re-addressing of the issues, including in relation to the “exceptions” being defenses that must be proven in a court of law as a defense to prosecution, the hunting on state game lands and the impact on the Great American Outdoors Show. Today, Philly.com published an article, which in addition to failing to address the issues I’ve continually raised relative to the Proclamation,  now implied that the Governor’s Office contends that a violation of Section 6107 is “a citation.”

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 9.40.27 AM.png

Unfortunately, once again, if the Wolf Administration did state that it was only a citation,  it is once again misleading the public on this issue, because pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6119, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree – our highest grade misdemeanor – which can be punished, per 18 Pa.C.S. § 106(b)(6), by up to 5 years in jail.  As a result, if an individual is convicted of a violation of Section 6107, it triggers the federal prohibition of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); whereby, that individual will be prohibited for the remainder of his/her life from possessing and purchasing firearms and ammunition. Specifically, Section 922(g)(1)

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person–
(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; …
to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
As further defined by 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20), a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year as:
(20) The term “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” does not include– …
(B) any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less.
Thus, as a misdemeanor of the first degree in Pennsylvania can be punished by up to 5 years in jail, the Section 922(g)(1) prohibition is triggered.
Hopefully, the misinformation from the Governor’s Office will cease; however, if Governor Wolf disputes the effect of his Proclamation on firearm rights or the grading of a resultant conviction, I am more than happy to debate him on the law.
I believe it is also necessary to point out that although I responded in the comment section of the Philly.com article, the “editorial board” apparently elected to delete my comment as it cannot be found in the comment section. So much for their request that readers “contribute to an engaging dialogue.” Below is a screenshot of my comment, which was later removed.
Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 9.49.56 AM.png
If you or someone you know has had their right to keep and bear arms infringed as a result of this state of emergency, 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.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

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.

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

Are the Great American Outdoors Show (GAOS) and State Game Land Hunting in Jeopardy as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Emergency?

As our viewers are aware, earlier today I published a blog article that With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearm Rights by Proclaiming a State of Emergency; but, what are the unintended (or possibly intended) further consequences of the Proclamation?

As people start to prepare for the NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) from February 3-11 in Harrisburg, PA at the Farm Show Complex, it is important to understand the impact on both the vendors and attendees. As I explained in my earlier article, Section 6107, in pertinent part, provides

(a) General rule.–No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during an emergency proclaimed by a State or municipal governmental executive unless that person is:
(1) Actively engaged in a defense of that person’s life or property from peril or threat.
(2) Licensed to carry firearms under section 6109 (relating to licenses) or is exempt from licensing under section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license).
(c) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
“Accessory.” Any scope, sight, bipod, sling, light, magazine, clip or other related item that is attached to or necessary for the operation of a firearm.
“Firearm.” The term includes any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any weapon.

So what’s the concern? How could Governor Wolf’s Proclamation possibly affect the Great American Outdoors Show?

As I addressed in my earlier article, the Proclamation seemingly meets the criteria to trigger the Section 6107 prohibitions, since it is an emergency proclamation issued by a State governmental executive. Additionally, to the surprise of many people, the Farm Show Complex, where the show will be held, is actually owned by the Commonwealth and is therefore public property; thereby, prohibiting the carrying of a firearm, as defined by Section 6107, anywhere on the property, during the proclamation of emergency, unless the person meets an exception.

As the first exception is not (or at least not likely) applicable to the show, let’s turn to second set of exceptions – an individual who has been issued a license to carry firearms, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109 or who is otherwise exempt under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106(b). Obviously, the first is self-explanatory, but what about the exemptions found in 6106(b)? Well, Section 6106(b) provides:

(1) Constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers.
(2) Members of the army, navy, marine corps, air force or coast guard of the United States or of the National Guard or organized reserves when on duty.
(3) The regularly enrolled members of any organization duly organized to purchase or receive such firearms from the United States or from this Commonwealth.
(4) Any persons engaged in target shooting with a firearm, if such persons are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practice and if, while going to or from their places of assembly or target practice, the firearm is not loaded.
(5) Officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry a concealed firearm.
(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.
(7) Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person, having in his possession, using or carrying a firearm in the usual or ordinary course of such business.
(8) Any person while carrying a firearm which is not loaded and is in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair, sale or appraisal or back to his home or place of business, or in moving from one place of abode or business to another or from his home to a vacation or recreational home or dwelling or back, or to recover stolen property under section 6111.1(b)(4) (relating to Pennsylvania State Police), or to a place of instruction intended to teach the safe handling, use or maintenance of firearms or back or to a location to which the person has been directed to relinquish firearms under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm or to a licensed dealer’s place of business for relinquishment pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.2 (relating to relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm or to a location for safekeeping pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment to third party for safekeeping) or back upon return of the relinquished firearm.
(9) Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking furbearers or fishing as permitted by such license, or are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take furbearers or fish or returning from such places.
(10) Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually training dogs during the regular training season.
(11) Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle, which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the United States or any other state.
(12) A person who has a lawfully issued license to carry a firearm pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) and that said license expired within six months prior to the date of arrest and that the individual is otherwise eligible for renewal of the license.
(13) Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a firearm under this chapter and who is operating a motor vehicle which is registered in the person’s name or the name of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which a valid license has been issued pursuant to section 6109 to the spouse or parent owning the firearm.
(14) A person lawfully engaged in the interstate transportation of a firearm as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3) (relating to definitions) in compliance with 18 U.S.C. § 926A (relating to interstate transportation of firearms).
(15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and the state under section 6109(k), provided:
(i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for individuals licensed to carry firearms under section 6109.
(ii) The Attorney General has determined that the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.
(16) Any person holding a license in accordance with section 6109(f)(3).

Clearly, any vendor or attendee who is a “person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person” would be exempt (but see the below caution), as would anyone carrying pursuant to a reciprocity agreement or carrying pursuant to subsection (b)(15). Other vendors and attendees would seemingly be prohibited, although some employees may be able to claim that they are agents, messengers or other employees of a “business firm, whose duties require them to protect moneys, valuables and other property in the discharge of such duties.”

Unfortunately, as few people are aware, as a result of the Superior Court’s en banc decision late last year in Commonwealth v. Anderson, these “exceptions” in Section 6106(b) were found by the Superior Court to be “defenses” that need to be proven at trial. Thus, any individual claiming “exception” under Section 6106(b) can be prosecuted and forced to argue the exception as a defense to the prosecution.

More disconcerting, unlike the emergency proclamation statute, 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301, utilized by Governor Wolf to issue the proclamation, 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107 does not provide the Governor with any authority to limit or otherwise preclude the enactment of the prohibitions. Rather, the issuance of an emergency proclamation automatically, and seemingly in violation of Article 1, Section 21 and the Second Amendment, prohibits the carrying of “a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during [the] emergency.”

In relation to hunting on state game lands, pursuant to Section 6106(b)(9), those individuals would likewise be entitled to the “defense,” provided that he/she is “licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking furbearers or fishing as permitted by such license, or are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take furbearers or fish or returning from such places.”

While the General Assembly has previously considered repealing Section 6107, Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of today underscores the necessity for the General Assembly to repeal Section 6107, as it is blatantly unconstitutional.

Please contact your State Representatives and demand that they immediately repeal Section 6107, so that YOUR rights aren’t infringed and so that YOU aren’t forced to pay attorney fees and costs to prove, as a defense, one of the exceptions in Section 6106. When contacting them, also demand that the draconian transportation laws of Section 6106 be repealed, as well.

If you or someone you know has had their right to keep and bear arms infringed as a result of this state of emergency, 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.

6 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearm Rights by Proclaiming State of Emergency

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued a proclamation declaring Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency, seemingly triggering the firearm prohibitions found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107 during declared emergencies.

Specifically, Section 6107 provides:

(a) General rule.–No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during an emergency proclaimed by a State or municipal governmental executive unless that person is:
(1) Actively engaged in a defense of that person’s life or property from peril or threat.
(2) Licensed to carry firearms under section 6109 (relating to licenses) or is exempt from licensing under section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license).
(b) Seizure, taking and confiscation.–Except as otherwise provided under subsection (a) and notwithstanding the provisions of 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to Commonwealth services) or any other provision of law to the contrary, no firearm, accessory or ammunition may be seized, taken or confiscated during an emergency unless the seizure, taking or confiscation would be authorized absent the emergency.
(c) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
“Accessory.” Any scope, sight, bipod, sling, light, magazine, clip or other related item that is attached to or necessary for the operation of a firearm.
“Firearm.” The term includes any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any weapon.

(It must be noted that the definition of a firearm is specific to this section of the code and not the general definition of a firearm found in Section 6102. The definition of a firearm in this section is far more broad than the definition in Section 6102)

While neither Section 6102 nor Section 6107 define what constitutes an “emergency proclaimed by a State…governmental executive,” it is clear that Governor Wolf is the state governmental executive. Moreover, the language utilized in the proclamation seems to trigger the prohibition since it is a proclamation of an emergency, pursuant to 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301.

Specifically, the Proclamation provides:

Disaster Declaration.jpg Disaster Declaration 2.jpg

So what does this mean?

This means that an individual, who could generally carry a firearm in public without a license to carry firearms (LTCF) (with the exception of in the City of Philadelphia as a city of the first class), cannot do so during a state of emergency. However, as the above exceptions reflect, this does not include when the individual is using the firearm for self-defense or if the individual has a license to carry firearms. This is another reason why I always recommend that any individual, regardless of whether he/she desires to conceal carry a firearm, procure an LTCF.

What about confiscation of firearms?

Since Katrina and the confiscation of firearms that occurred during the state of emergency there, individuals are generally concerned about the Government using a state of emergency to confiscate firearms. That is why Section 6107 specifically prevents any form of confiscation of firearms, accessory or ammunition from occurring solely as a result of a state of emergency.

What should you do?

As it is anticipated that this proclamation of a state of emergency will not be terminated for an extended period of time, I would highly recommend that anyone eligible obtain his/her LTCF.

EDIT 1/11/18: For those interested in the impact of this Proclamation on the Great American Outdoors Show and hunting on state game land, please see this follow up article – Are the Great American Outdoors Show (GAOS) and State Game Land Hunting in Jeopardy as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Emergency?

EDIT 1/12/18: As a result of the Office of Governor issuing a statement that Senator Wagner and I are “flat-out wrong,” I have published a third article on this topic and am requesting that Governor Wolf either apologize to Senator Wagner and myself or debate me on the issues – Governor Wolf’s “Interpretive Jiggery-Pokery” on his Proclamation’s Impact on Firearm Rights in Pennsylvania

EDIT 1/16/18: As a result of Philly.com implying that the Governor’s Office has claimed that a violation of Section 6107 is “a citation,” I have published a fourth article on this issue so that the public is not misinformed – Lose Your Second Amendment Rights if You Violate Section 6107 as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Opioid Proclamation

If you or someone you know has had their right to keep and bear arms infringed as a result of this state of emergency, 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.

45 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

Are PA Medical Marijuana Patients Prohibited From Possessing and Purchasing Firearms and Ammunition?

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Medical Marijuana Program Patient Registry had reached 3,800 registered patients in its first week of registration. While individuals may be able to lawfully possess marijuana in Pennsylvania under Pennsylvania law if the person is registered on the Patient Registry and has been approved for use by a qualified doctor, Federal law still provides that the possession and/or use of marijuana is unlawful, as a Schedule 1 drug.

Although we have written extensively about the fact that marijuana is federally prohibited and that ATF revised the ATF 4473 form to reflect such, few individuals appear aware that they lose their right to keep and bear arms if they are a current user of marijuana, even if approved for use by a qualified doctor. (As many people are confused, a doctor cannot prescribe marijuana, due to Federal law, but can suggest to a patient that he/she utilize marijuana).

On the most recent version of the ATF 4473, it reflects under question 11e.:

e. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?

Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.

As a result, more than 3,800 residents of Pennsylvania have presumptively become prohibited under Federal law from possession and purchasing firearms and ammunition.

Moreover, individuals who live in households where a registered medical marijuana patient resides, need to consider the potential ramifications of their own rights to keep and bear arms.

If you are concerned about whether you have lost your right to keep and bear arms as a result of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program or your residing in a residence with a medical marijuana user,  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.

4 Comments

Filed under ATF, Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law