Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Rights

    Addressing several issues of first impression, the Commonwealth Court on Wednesday issued a 20 page decision and entered a judgment of approximately $6,500.00 against the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) for erroneously denying an individual his right to keep and bear arms.

    With eight pages of the decision addressing the factual and procedural background, the case is somewhat complex; however, stated succinctly, the individual applied for a firearm and was denied by the PSP. Although he submitted a Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) Challenge, where he provided the PSP with copies of the original charging documents reflecting that he had only been charged with and pled guilty to a summary offense, the PSP ignored the documentation and issued a final determination that he was prohibited. Thereafter, he retained Attorney Joshua Prince for an appeal to the Pennsylvania Attorney General. After the PSP received the appeal, which included copies of all the documents the individual originally submitted, the PSP called Attorney Prince to inform him that the PSP was overturning its decision but that they would not issue a letter confirming the reversal.

    Thereafter, Attorney Prince filed a complaint against the PSP, pursuant to the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA), while the case proceeded before the Attorney General. The PSP would later stipulate, before the Attorney General, that the individual was not prohibited; however, the PSP opposed the CHRIA action and argue that (1) the PSP was entitled to sovereign immunity for any damages and (2) that the individual was foreclosed in bringing a CHRIA action, since he had filed an appeal to the Attorney General.

    The Commonwealth Court, in response to the PSPís assertion of sovereign immunity, declared that the

    PSP did originally maintain incorrect criminal history record information with respect to Haron in violation of section 9111 of CHRIA, which wrongfully resulted in the denial of his constitutional right to purchase a firearm for a period of several months and required him to ultimately obtain counsel.

    The court then went on to find

    that the maintenance of incorrect criminal records resulting in an unwarranted denial of a constitutional right to purchase a firearm constitutes ďaggrievement.Ē Because Haron was aggrieved, he is entitled to recover actual and real damages, consistent with section 9183(b)(2) of CHRIA, in the amount of $1,500.00, which represents the retainer fee that Haron was required to pay to obtain counsel to represent him [before the AG] in this matter. Additionally, Haron is entitled to reasonable costs of litigation and attorney fees.

    In relation to the PSPís second assertion that he was precluded in instituting and maintaining an action under CHRIA because he filed an appeal to the Attorney General, the court declared:

    we do not believe that Haronís initial choice to proceed under the UFA forecloses any potential relief under CHRIA. Indeed, the only relief available under the UFA appears to be correction of an individualís criminal history records, whereas CHRIA provides other potential relief in the nature of an injunction and/or damages.

    While the judgment is minuscule in relation to the deprivation of a constitutional right, we hope that this case will give the PSP pause in what has become its standard operating procedure to ignore documentation submitted by an unrepresented individual in a PICS Challenge and to force individuals to prove that they are not prohibited, when the burden rests with the PSP to prove that the individual is prohibited.

    https://blog.princelaw.com/2017/09/2...ndment-rights/
    "Cives Arma Ferant"

    "I know I'm not James Bond, that's why I don't keep a loaded gun under the pillow, or bang Russian spies on a regular basis." - GunLawyer001

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    Great. So, ultimately, from whom is the $6500.00 coming?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    Quote Originally Posted by free View Post
    Great. So, ultimately, from whom is the $6500.00 coming?
    Girl scout cookies.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    Quote Originally Posted by free View Post
    Great. So, ultimately, from whom is the $6500.00 coming?
    You want it to come from the victim? Lawyers don't work for free. Pro bono aside. Should be a pay cut for the head of psp. That person should have to write a personal cheque.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunsnwater View Post
    Should be a pay cut for the head of psp. That person should have to write a personal cheque.
    I didn’t ask from whom it SHOULD come, but from whom WILL it come?

    Point being, who is actually being punished here?

  6. #6
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    bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    I read the civil complaint via link in first sentence of the first post and I don’t understand how this guy was charged with PA CC 6106.1(a), carrying a loaded weapon other than a firearm for possess a loaded BB gun in a vehicle. I didn’t know that section applied to BB/air /pellet guns.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    Quote Originally Posted by free View Post
    I didn’t ask from whom it SHOULD come, but from whom WILL it come?
    Point being, who is actually being punished here?
    No one is being punished.
    The government at all levels does this with complete impunity.
    They drag people into long and expensive court procedures, knowing full well that many can't afford to participate in the legal process.
    Many people just retreat from the process for lack of means or understanding, resulting in a defacto improper loss of rights.
    The cases that are taken to court are covered by the taxpayers, with no negative consequences to those officials that are improperly manipulating the process.
    How can you have any cookies if you don't drink your milk?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    Quote Originally Posted by Berncly View Post
    No one is being punished.
    Not quite.

    The government at all levels does this with complete impunity.
    They drag people into long and expensive court procedures, knowing full well that many can't afford to participate in the legal process. Many people just retreat from the process for lack of means or understanding, resulting in a defacto improper loss of rights. The cases that are taken to court are covered by the taxpayers, with no negative consequences to those officials that are improperly manipulating the process.
    And there it is. It is the taxpayers that are punished, and who ultimately pay.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    Quote Originally Posted by free View Post
    And there it is. It is the taxpayers that are punished, and who ultimately pay.
    The taxpayers have continued to allow their employees (the PSP) to violate the rights of the citizens of Pennsylvania - Yes - They should pay for their misconduct (along with the PSP) if they ignore the violations perpetrated by their employees and continue them in employment to do so in the future...

    If (SINCE) the PSP is violating citizens rights, we the taxpayers, should vote people into office to force the PSP (by additional laws or clarifying policies) to respect the citizens and their rights...

    If you want freedom and control lodged in the hands of the citizens, then the responsibility for placing responsible people in power resides with the citizens as well...

    What did this forum do the last time there was a clear chance for implementing Constitutional Carry when Gov. Corbett would have signed it???????????????????????

    ...

  10. #10
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    Levittown, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Financial Judgment on Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Ri

    PSP no doubt will view this as a single incident and change nothing. It will be up to gun attorney's to keep track of continuous common scheme actions on the part of PSP juxtaposed to the precedent set by this court's judgment to finally "learn 'em". Interesting that law allows such a paltry sum, paid by the taxpayers to boot. There's something legislators could address. Yeah... sure.

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