Tag Archives: Open Carry

With a Second Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Ensures that Firearm Rights are Restricted by Renewing Proclamation of State of Emergency

Yesterday, for the second time, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf renewed 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.

As I discussed extensively in my prior blog article – With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearms Rights by Proclaiming a State of Emergency – pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107, 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. As I additionally blogged about – Are the Great American Outdoors Show (GAOS) and State Game Land Hunting in Jeopardy as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Emergency? – the proclamation affects gun shows and would force a hunter on state game lands to prove, as a defense to prosecution, that he/she was lawfully engaged in hunting.

Most importantly, in my third and last article on the proclamation – Lose Your Second Amendment Rights if You Violate Section 6107 as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Opioid Proclamation – if you are convicted of a violation of Section 6107, because it is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree, you will be prohibited under federal law from purchasing and possessing firearms and ammunition.

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 When contacting them, also demand that the draconian transportation laws of Section 6106 be repealed, as well.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.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law, Uncategorized

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

ATTENTION: The 9th Circuit amends the 2nd Amendment…

The last time I checked, neither state government nor the Courts had any power, real or imagined, to amend the U.S. Constitution.  A recent ruling from the 9th Circuit, however, suggests maybe I need to check again.  In a decision that confounds common sense, plain reading of the Constitutional text as much as it creates a legal non-sense, a divided 9th Circuit upheld Cal. Penal Law §25400 and §25655, which generally makes it unlawful to conceal carry firearms in public AND limits a license to conceal-carry to a finding of “good cause” by the issuing sheriff.  Peruta v. San Diego, 2016 WL 3194315 (9th Cir. June 9, 2016).

The procedural history of this case is itself dubious.  First, it should be noted that Peruta technically consisted of consolidated cases wherein plaintiffs challenged essentially the same local (county-level) iteration of §25400 and §25655.  The named plaintiff, Peruta, brought a Second Amendment suit against the County of San Diego.  Interestingly also, this case was the 9th Circuit’s rehearing and reversal of its own decision in Peruta I (742 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 2014)) wherein an en banc panel of the 9th had previously found good cause requirements unconstitutional.  The Sheriff of the San Diego, after Peruta I, declined to appeal for a rehearing, but that’s where the state of California intervened – prompting a hearing before the full Court – Peruta II.  San Diego county’s iteration of the good cause requirement defines such as…

…a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way.  Simply fearing for one’s personal safety alone is not considered good cause.

The other case – Richards v. Prieto, Cnty. of Yolo, involved the named Plaintiff, Richards, bringing suit on the same grounds as plaintiff Peruta, but against Yolo County’s own version of the good cause requirement.  Amazingly, the County of Yolo does not bother to even define good cause (as if the concept wasn’t vague and arbitrary enough under California state law), rather the County instructs its residents that there are certain circumstances which, definitively, do or do not give rise to good cause.  Among those circumstances:

Victims of violent crime and/or documented threats of violence [yep]

Self protection and protection of family [nope]

Business owners who work all hours in remote areas and are likely to encounter dangerous people and situations [yep]

Personal safety due to job conditions or duties placed on the applicant by their employer [nope]

In a written opinion of truly amazing acrobatics – The 9th Circuit somehow sidestepped the very plain language of the Second Amendment, and also putatively avoided going as far as (explicitly) finding that the Second Amendment ensures no right, whatsoever, to publicly possessing a firearm for self-protection(“That question was left open by the Supreme Court in Heller, and we have no need to answer it here.”)  The problem is, California law also forbids open-carry, pursuant to Cal. Penal Law §26350.  Therefore, as a practical matter now, a private citizen cannot legally possess firearms in public for the purpose of self-protection.  Oh well, the catch-22 there was clearly not a concern for the Court.  Isn’t the narrow grounds approach to jurisprudence refreshing?

Irrespective of whether the reader belongs to the so-called textualist school of judicial philosophy, or that of the living Constitution, the ruling has to be seen as a baffling one.  I could have sworn that the Second Amendment states, in relevant part, “…the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Webster’s Dictionary includes the following definition of the word “bear” as including “to produce” and/or “to bring forth”.  Further, the Constitutional Convention’s inclusion of “bear” after stating “keep” rationally indicates that keeping and bearing are not one in the same thing – that the latter is an additional right, not to be confused with the former.  Sure, the Court engaged in an expansive quest for historical precedent to state’s prohibiting public carrying of weapons, but precedents can be found from the reverse side as well.  The writer finds it indicative of the weakness of the Court’s opinion that a majority of the 9th Circuit’s historical assessment looked to monarchical English history, first and foremost.

Well there you have it, the 9th has effectively taken the “bear” out of “…keep and bear arms…” – an amendment, as I see it.  Who needs Congress or a Constitutional Convention when you have overreaching judges.

6 Comments

Filed under Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law, Uncategorized

The 9th Circuit Invalidates California’s Restrictive Concealed Carry Laws

Note: I am not licensed to practice law in California. This article is merely for news and commentary purposes.

The 9th Circuit in a 2-1 decision earlier today invalidated California’s extremely restrictive concealed carry regulatory system. This system allows a great deal of leeway to individual counties and areas that issue permits. In this specific case, it was San Diego County’s requirements that require a demonstration of good cause. The desire for self-protection on its own does not count as good cause in San Diego.

The majority spends a great deal of time looking at the historical context of 2nd Amendment judicial laws and commentaries. This was similar to what Judge Posner did for the 7th Circuit decision in Moore, but what the 2nd Circuit (in New York), 3rd Circuit (in New Jersey) and 4th Circuit (in Maryland) failed to do when ruling against an individual’s right to carry a firearm outside his or her home.

The majority also looks at how by virtue of the State banning open carry, and having an extremely restrictive system for concealed carry, that the State violates the 2nd Amendment. They seem to view that a state can have one or the other as long as law-abiding citizens can use it for protection outside the home.

It should be noted that while the case dealt with California law only, the 9th Circuit (as shown in a map from the Court’s website), encompasses (among other states) Hawaii and the US territories of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Hawaii, has an extremely restrictive policy for getting a concealed carry permit. The N.M.I and Guam do not allow any form of concealed carry. If the decision is not overturned, it may offer room for legal challenges in these three areas.

Map of the Ninth Circuit: Map of the Ninth Circuit: Map of the 9th Circuit

The written decision is not a short one, but I recommend people give it a read.

1 Comment

Filed under Constitutional Law, Firearms Law