Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/nort..._river_default

    A local lawyer claims Northampton County would violate state law if county Executive John Stoffa follows through on his vow to hire more staff in the Sheriff's Department to conduct reference checks on license-to-carry-firearm applications.
    Joshua Prince, a Berks County attorney who specializes in gun rights and licenses, wrote a letter to the county and sheriff's department this week, claiming the practice of calling an applicant's character references is illegal


    http://www.princelaw.com/CM/Attorney...a-G-Prince.asp
    https://www.facebook.com/SigForLife

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Is there still hope for us? Get em Mr. Stoffa.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Might be worth a dime of my money to give these folks a call and see if they need a hand. I fought a similar fight against the Montgomery County sheriff, arguing that she had to accept my application with the references (and employer) fields empty. On similar grounds, that the privacy portion of the statutes do not allow them, in a practical manner, to contact any of the references nor the employer, so the information is not only useless, but truthfulness on the application is then unenforceable. I could put Mickey Mouse and Your Mother on there, and they couldn't, at least in any legal manner, check to see if they are real people or if they know me or what do they say about me.

    Add to all this the ridiculousness of relying on a person's self-supplied references for character. What, would I prove the names and telephone numbers of Afghanis whose families I wronged by killing their terrorist brother? No, I'd provide people I would 99% be certain would say that I love my momma, love jesus, and america too, crazy bout elvis, love horses, etc etc.

    Then add to it the likely problems that could arise. What if I cannot provide the names and telephone numbers of any persons who operate a telephone? The statute does not have this listed as a prohibitor. It also does not have employment as a prohibitor. So, even leaving the fields blank neither constitutes lying nor does it void the application. There is no requirement to know anyone nor provide their contact information (one could even argue my providing their information on a legal document is not legal on my part) nor to be employed nor to know one's employer's telephone number.

    I could argue this all day, this gave me a hardon the whole time. Was even better when it ended and I got my LTCF without having to jump through the hoops.

    I wish these folks the best, hopefully they can take it to the next level and get the PSP to stop breaking the law with their illegal application.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Quote Originally Posted by fortysix View Post
    I could argue this all day, this gave me a hardon the whole time.
    Seek medical attention if it was more than a few hours....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Joshua Prince is incorrect.

    It is not illegal for the Sheriff to contact references. What is illegal is to divulge information that pertains to a license, license application, or "firearm" transfer.

    All the sheriff has to do is word is questions properly. Like:

    "Does your friend have undocumented mental issues?"
    "Does your friend have a problem with drinking too much alcohol?"
    "Does your friend have a history of harming others or himself?"
    "Does your friend have a history of harming small animals, outside the act of hunting or rodent/pest control?"
    "Do you believe your friend may have plans to harm him self or others?"

    If anything, contacting the references is fully supported by law. ...it is just the issuing agent must be careful on how he says things or asks things.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    Joshua Prince is incorrect.

    It is not illegal for the Sheriff to contact references. What is illegal is to divulge information that pertains to a license, license application, or "firearm" transfer.

    All the sheriff has to do is word is questions properly. Like:

    "Does your friend have undocumented mental issues?"
    "Does your friend have a problem with drinking too much alcohol?"
    "Does your friend have a history of harming others or himself?"
    "Does your friend have a history of harming small animals, outside the act of hunting or rodent/pest control?"
    "Do you believe your friend may have plans to harm him self or others?"

    If anything, contacting the references is fully supported by law. ...it is just the issuing agent must be careful on how he says things or asks things.
    ^^^^ this is correct. The problem comes in that one would wonder why the sheriff is calling him and asking about me. Then, the person might think I'm in some kind of trouble, or being investigated for something. What if that person is my boss? What if it's the guy I go hunting with? What if it's the guy next door whose daughter sleeps over here with my niece every other Saturday night? While the sheriff might not say he's calling about a firearms permit, the ambiguity of the call makes it possibly even worse when taken with no context.

    Even moreso, what if my reference refuses to answer questions? Is there any law forcing him to do so? Is there anything in the statute to allow the sheriff to refuse me because my reference remains silent? What if my reference goes on vacation to Europe for six months, and can't be contacted, does the statute allow the sheriff to reject? If there is nothing to force the sheriff to act on a missing response from my reference, why is the reference there at all?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Also this attorney Prince is a member here?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Quote Originally Posted by fortysix View Post
    Also this attorney Prince is a member here?
    Yes. He is....
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot.

  9. #9
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    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    Joshua Prince is incorrect.

    It is not illegal for the Sheriff to contact references. What is illegal is to divulge information that pertains to a license, license application, or "firearm" transfer.

    All the sheriff has to do is word is questions properly. Like:

    "Does your friend have undocumented mental issues?"
    "Does your friend have a problem with drinking too much alcohol?"
    "Does your friend have a history of harming others or himself?"
    "Does your friend have a history of harming small animals, outside the act of hunting or rodent/pest control?"
    "Do you believe your friend may have plans to harm him self or others?"

    If anything, contacting the references is fully supported by law. ...it is just the issuing agent must be careful on how he says things or asks things.
    Correct

    Mr Prince would be better suited (and $$$ supported) by me if he went after clear law infringements. Like Philly

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lawyer: Character reference checks illegal for license-to-carry applications

    I had to have one of my references fill in a second Philly Reference sheet. He thought it was funny, but the Gestapo probably wouldn't have:
    Given their character and reputation, would you consider the applicant likely to act in a dangerous manner?
    He is a coxswain of a Coast Guard small boat. By definition what we do is dangerous. In case you're not sure what our job entails, "when storms shut down entire ports, we go out. When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out. And when the holy Lord himself reaches down from heaven and destroys his good work with winds that rip houses off the ground, We. Go. Out." Will he act in a dangerous manner? Oh you can bet your life on it, and you better, because it may be your officers in that pretty little jet boat you have at our base on Washington Ave that we're risking our lives to save.


    I gave him an a+ for effort and another blank sheet. The gestapo have no humor.

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