Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    We're seeing an increasing number of criminal prosecutions for PICS denials in Pennsylvania, where the State Police are referring close to 100% of all denials for follow-up prosecution.

    What's happened is that the NRA and others pointed out, quite correctly, that we hardly need more gun laws when the govt isn't using the current gun laws to their full scope. Going back to Bill Clinton, the mismatch between "millions of felons blocked from getting guns" and the handful of prosecutions of those felons, has drawn comments from those who paid attention. If all of these terrible people are trying to illegally buy guns, why aren't we prosecuting them?

    Rather than admit that state and Federal gun laws are too broad, and are preventing too many harmless people from buying guns, the response has been to prosecute more prohibited persons, regardless of their level of culpability.

    We're seeing a disproportionate number of prosecutions of people who had 302 commitments, often as teenagers, and the same for DUI's. In both cases, the legal conclusion at the base of the prohibition is not easy for the layman to know. People held for a few days in hospitals often are blissfully unaware of the paperwork being filed by a nurse or doctor somewhere. People convicted of a DUI have to work very hard to get through the multiple applicable statutes that describe the offense, set forth the minimum penalty, describe the penalty level, and mention the maximum penalty allowed for that level. For a DUI, you literally need to locate and read and comprehend at least 4 separate statutes in the Vehicle Code and in the Crimes Code to answer the question:

    Have you been convicted in any court of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation?

    . . . which does not really mean that at all; if you can get through the multi-page instructions on the 4473, and read Paragraph 6, you'll find that it REALLY means
    (this does not include State misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment of two years or less).

    Since 2006, when PAFOA began, I've posted dozens of times that you do NOT want to use PICS to "see if you're prohibited". Even back in 2006, when 98% of PICS or NICS denials didn't result in criminal prosecution, IT WAS ALWAYS POSSIBLE. There was always that risk.

    Now the risk is much, much higher, and my advice is critically important. DO NOT use PICS just to resolve the issue of whether you're prohibited.

    The State Police WILL refer your denial to the local cops for criminal prosecution, if the PSP doesn't prosecute it themselves.

    DO NOT wing it on the 4473. This isn't like the check-off box where you claim to have read and understood the Terms of Use for that new software. This is serious. There's jail time and permanent loss of gun rights involved, because your chances of getting your rights restored after that old conviction from 20 years ago, just went up in smoke with your new "crime".

    If you ever were arrested, or you have a questionable military discharge, or you had a warrant issued in another state, or there's ANYTHING that you're not sure about on the 4473, then STOP, DON'T TOUCH, and FIND AN ADULT to explain it to you (with apologies to the Eddie the Eagle program.)

    Ask the lawyer who handled your old case, get the records from the hospital. Hire a new lawyer to do the research and explain things to you. Look up your own records here:
    https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets.aspx

    Because if you just answer the questions "to the best of your current knowledge", and hope for the best, you may be spending a lot of money and time later, trying to avoid conviction and jail.

    I get paid when things go wrong, so this goes against my financial interests. I get a lot more money handling criminal defense than I do doing a quick records review. But we're a community, and I actually care about what happens to at least some of you. STOP suggesting that people use PICS as a quick and dirty background check. Know your own records.

    The 4473 requires you to know and understand the legal implications of certain incidents. It requires you to have the proper legal conclusion regarding a set of facts. Yes, you remember going to court back in college after "that thing with the drunk girl" or whatever; the question asks you as a factual matter, what the legal fallout was. It requires you to analyze the charges, the convictions, and determine the maximum penalty under the statutes in effect at the time, and frankly, that's impossible for a lot of laymen to do on their own.

    Do your due diligence BEFORE you fill out the 4473.
    Last edited by GunLawyer001; August 26th, 2014 at 12:26 PM.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Thanks to all who attended my Firearms Law Workshops this year!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    I motion this be made a sticky so that it can quickly be referenced in the future. This can help a lot of people.
    Last edited by internet troll; August 26th, 2014 at 01:03 PM.
    Proof Armed citizens make a difference. http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=316012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hilltown, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    ^^^^ good info, thanks.
    Politicians who fear the people seek to disarm them.

    People who fear their government's intentions refuse to be disarmed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    PA, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    Thanks for sharing this!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    York, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    I passed my NICS, have my LTCF, and the OP still scared me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    (Dauphin County)
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    But I lie on all my welfare forms and the state doesn't do anything.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    next to my neighbor, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    Quote Originally Posted by SHEPHERD321 View Post
    But I lie on all my welfare forms and the state doesn't do anything.
    That is because the state WANTS you on welfare. The state DOESN'T want you to own a gun.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hickory Twp., Pennsylvania
    (Lawrence County)
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    Thumbs up Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    Great post and great info. Thanks for looking out for us and keeping us up to date. I second a motion for a sticky. Gotta spread rep around before I can tag you again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
    (Franklin County)
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    the State Police are referring close to 100% of all denials for follow-up prosecution.
    Any idea of the round numbers per week or month?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    York Township, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Critically important note about PICS and NICS

    Quote Originally Posted by kimtyson View Post
    I passed my NICS, have my LTCF, and the OP still scared me.
    I have run through PICS many times, have my LTCF and a C&R...and this scared me too

    III% - Stand and be counted

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