Tag Archives: “Lower Merion Township”

PA Supreme Court Denies Lower Merion Township’s Petition for Allocatur Involving Its Illegal Firearm Regulations

As our viewers are aware from my prior article on January 27, 2017, after the the Commonwealth Court issued its decision in Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), et al. v. Lower Merion Township, where it held that Lower Merion Township’s preclusion of firearms and discharge in township parks was unlawful, Lower Merion Township filed a Petition for Allowance of Appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was docketed at 36 MAL 2017.

Today, the PA Supreme Court denied Lower Merion’s Petition for Allowance, therefore making final the Commonwealth Court’s decision in FOAC, et al. v. Lower Merion Township.

If your rights have been violated by an illegal firearm or ammunition ordinance or regulation promulgated by a state agency, county, municipality or township, contact us today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.

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Lower Merion Township Petitions for Allowance to Appeal in Firearm Preemption Case

As our readers are aware, on December 16, 2016, the Commonwealth Court issued its decision in Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), et al. v. Lower Merion Township, where it held that Lower Merion Township’s preclusion of firearms in township parks was unlawful.

On Friday, January 13, 2017, Lower Merion Township filed a Petition for Allowance of Appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was docketed at 36 MAL 2017. Thereafter, on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, the City of Philadelphia and City of Harrisburg filed amicus curiae briefs with the Court, asking it to grant Lower Merion Township’s request and overturn the Commonwealth Court’s decision. Later today, we will file our Answer in opposition to Lower Merion’s request.

Generally, once our Answer is filed, it will take the PA Supreme Court between 6 to 8 months, if not more, to decide whether to hear Lower Merion’s appeal and if it grants Lower Merion’s appeal, what legal issues it agrees to consider.

If your rights have been violated by an illegal firearm or ammunition ordinance or regulation promulgated by a state agency, county, municipality or township, contact us today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.

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Lower Merion Township’s Preliminary Objections in Relation to its Unlawful Firearm Ordinance are DENIED

Today, the Honorable Steven Tolliver of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas issued a decision and order denying Lower Merion Township’s Preliminary Objections requesting that the complaint filed by Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC) and other plaintiffs be dismissed.

In so ruling, Judge Tolliver not only found that the individual plaintiffs sufficiently averred standing to challenge Lower Merion Township’s Ordinance 109-16 (regulating firearms in township parks) but also found that FOAC had established standing on behalf of its members. Judge Tolliver also found that Plaintiffs had sufficiently averred a right to relief.

Lower Merion Township now has 20 days to file an Answer to the Complaint and the action will proceed thereafter. Also, a hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction is scheduled for August 24th.

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Lower Merion Township – Taxpayers on the Hook for Legal Expenses related to Illegal Firearms Ordinance

As our viewers are aware, we filed suit against Lower Merion Township regarding its illegal firearm ordinance on March 20, 2015 and its request for a Stay was denied on May 14, 2015. In litigating this matter, on April 30, 2015, I filed a Right to Know Law (RTKL) request seeking documents in the Township’s possession relating to Section 109-16, since the Township filed Preliminary Objections to stay discovery and a decision on the merits.

In responding to my RTKL request, the Township turned over a number of documents, including the most recent attorney billing of May 11, 2015 from High Swartz in the amount of $4,900 and a March 27, 2015 letter from Delaware Valley Insurance Trust denying coverage in relation to the lawsuit. Specifically, the letter states

The POL Coverage Part of the applicable Trust Coverage Document does not provide coverage for the Township in this matter because the plaintiffs are not seeking to recover compensatory damages, but only declaratory and injunctive relief, and because the plaintiffs have alleged in their Complaint that the Township willfully violated 18 Pa. C.S. §6120 and otherwise engaged in willful misconduct in refusing to amend or repeal the allegedly illegal ordinances. The Trust therefore respectfully declines coverage and requests that the Township retain defense counsel at its own expense in this matter.

Accordingly, the residents of Lower Merion Township will be responsible for all the costs incurred by its counsel, as well as, our attorney fees and costs, when the matter is decided in our favor. It is unfortunate that the Lower Merion Township Commissioners have elected to defend its illegal ordinance at the taxpayers expense. If you are a resident of Lower Merion Township, you should let the Commissioners know that you do not appreciate your money being used for their political views.

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Lower Merion Township’s Request for Stay is DENIED.

Today, the Honorable Bernard Moore of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas denied Lower Merion Township’s request for stay pending the outcome of Leach v. Commonwealth, 585 MD 2014. A copy of the Order is available here. Accordingly, the matter will move forward and Plaintiffs expect that a hearing on their Preliminary Injunction will be held within the next couple weeks.

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PRESS RELEASE: Lawsuit Filed Against Lower Merion Township Regarding Its Illegal Firearm Ordinance

Today, Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., filed an 24 page Complaint, plus exhibits, against Lower Merion Township on behalf of Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC) and two individual plaintiffs regarding the Township’s illegal and unconstitutional firearm ordinance – Section 109-16. In the Complaint, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince argues that the Township’s ordinance violates 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120 and Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, for which even Township Manager McNelly admitted and which is included as an exhibit.

Although the Township was provided an opportunity to repeal its illegal ordinance, in direct defiance of the state crime of Official Oppression, as well as, Section 6120, the Commissioners, contrary to the advice of their solicitor, refused to repeal or amend Section 109-16.

It is unfortunate that Township’s taxpayers will be burdened by the Township’s elected officials believing it is acceptable, and even gloating, that they are violating the Crimes Code and refusing to repeal such illegal provisions.

As it is a misdemeanor of the first degree to violate Section 6120, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6119, we call upon Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, who is currently running for judge in Montgomery County, to bring charges against the Township and its representatives for their violations of the Crimes Code, including conspiracy, official oppression, and Section 6120. It is time that our elected officials be held accountable for their actions.

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