Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    A few weeks ago, I was issued a citation for violating 34 721 A - Control of Property Regulations. The story basically unfolds as follows:

    1. Saturday morning around 0900, I was in the process of shooting paper targets at a 25 yard range with a suppressed 1911. There were other people there who were from out of state shooting more than 6 rounds per firearm.
    2. I had also brought with me an AR pistol that had a binary trigger in it. I had recently installed a new linear compensator. However as the linear is still loud on a 7.5" barrel, I took the pistol with 5 rounds in the magazine to the 50 yard line to be considerate. I however did not have a paper target attached to the backboard. Instead, I aimed and fired at the rubber backboard where paper targets are normally stapled to. This was just done to test the new brake.
    3. It was shortly after this that a game commission officer approached me and asked to see my ID, range permit, plus NFA paperwork. I was polite and complied. He briefly looked at copies of my form 4's and handed them back while holding on to my ID. He also approached the out of towners and asked for their ID's.
    4. He left for about 10 minutes and came back. He proceeds to give the out-of-towners a warning stating that they're only allowed to have a max of 6 rounds in the magazine. He then comes back to me and says he's cutting me a break for "shooting more than 6 rounds out of a weapon with a binary trigger" (which is complete BS since I only had 5 in the mag), but instead goes on to tell me he's citing me for not having a paper target up.

    Cut to today, and the postman delivers the citation. The fine is in the amount of $198.25.

    Yes, I will admit I was wrong by not having a paper target attached to the backboard, but I was in no way intentionally aiming at the wood supports themselves; just the rubber backing. As such, I'll pay the fine if I have to. My question is this however: what are the ramifications to pleading guilty on a summary case in the state of PA? Is it similar to just paying a fine on a speeding ticket, or is this considered a criminal offense that will remain on my public record forever? Will pleading guilty have any negative consequences for me legally down the road?

    Should I contact an attorney, or just pay the fine and move on with my life?

    BTW, I apologize if I posted this in the wrong area. Wasn't quite sure which section this would best go to.
    Last edited by amstel78; June 5th, 2019 at 02:17 PM.
    Pork-eating infidel and NRA Member

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    Quote Originally Posted by amstel78 View Post
    A few weeks ago, I was issued a citation for violating 34 721 A - Control of Property Regulations. The story basically unfolds as follows:

    1. Saturday morning around 0900, I was in the process of shooting paper targets at a 25 yard range with a suppressed 1911. There were other people there who were from out of state shooting more than 6 rounds per firearm.
    2. I had also brought with me an AR pistol that had a binary trigger in it. I had recently installed a new linear compensator. However as the linear is still loud on a 7.5" barrel, I took the pistol with 5 rounds in the magazine to the 50 yard line to be considerate. I however did not have a paper target attached to the backboard. Instead, I aimed and fired at the rubber backboard where paper targets are normally stapled to. This was just done to test the new brake.
    3. It was shortly after this that a game commission officer approached me and asked to see my ID, range permit, plus NFA paperwork. I was polite and complied. He briefly looked at copies of my form 4's and handed them back while holding on to my ID. He also approached the out of towners and asked for their ID's.
    4. He left for about 10 minutes and came back. He proceeds to give the out-of-towners a warning stating that they're only allowed to have a max of 6 rounds in the magazine. He then comes back to me and says he's cutting me a break for "shooting more than 6 rounds out of a weapon with a binary trigger" (which is complete BS since I only had 5 in the mag), but instead goes on to tell me he's citing me for not having a paper target up.

    Cut to today, and the postman delivers the citation. The fine is in the amount of $198.25.

    Yes, I will admit I was wrong by not having a paper target attached to the backboard, but I was in no way intentionally aiming at the wood supports themselves; just the rubber backing. As such, I'll pay the fine if I have to. My question is this however: what are the ramifications to pleading guilty on a summary case in the state of PA? Is it similar to just paying a fine on a speeding ticket, or is this considered a criminal offense that will remain on my public record forever? Will pleading guilty have any negative consequences for me legally down the road?

    Should I contact an attorney, or just pay the fine and move on with my life?
    Same as a traffic citation.

    Having used PGC ranges at various times for PSP qualification and talking to WCOs, they have a real problem with people indiscriminately shooting up range facilities. Not only frames and hangers but buildings and pavilions. You are an unfortunate victim of those that are complete assholes when they get a gun in their hands. WCOs are hardcore about enforcing range rules.
    "A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"

    "He created the game, played the game, and lost the game.... All under his own terms, by his own doing." JW34

    "Tolerance is the lube that helps slip the dildo of dysfunction into the ass of a civilized society." Plato

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    Quote Originally Posted by unclejumbo View Post
    Same as a traffic citation.

    Having used PGC ranges at various times for PSP qualification and talking to WCOs, they have a real problem with people indiscriminately shooting up range facilities. Not only frames and hangers but buildings and pavilions. You are an unfortunate victim of those that are complete assholes when they get a gun in their hands. WCOs are hardcore about enforcing range rules.
    Yes, that's the reason the WCO gave me when justifying his need to give me a citation.

    I'm not contradicting it in this case - I clearly didn't have a paper target up on the 50. But what gets me in my case is the selective enforcement of the rules. He let the non-PA people walk with a warning but yet I get a citation. Most everyone at SGL 183 knows me as I'm usually a Sunday morning regular. They can attest that I always consciously try to abide by the rules. This was certainly a lapse in judgement on my part.

    Anyway, I just wanted to know if pleading guilty to this thing is the same as a misdemeanor or other crime in Pennsylvania. I ask because this is the first time I've actually received a citation of any kind in PA. I've never even had a traffic ticket. So I really don't know what's at stake here if I plead guilty or no-contest.
    Pork-eating infidel and NRA Member

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    You must use a paper target. You have a time requirement between shots. These rules are how they limit range destruction. You knew the rules. Just because someone else is breaking the rules, doesn’t mean your allowed to also. I’m guessing binaries are not allowed. His false statement and claim of cutting you a break doesn’t effect anything except to piss you off. Game wardens have more powers than police in enforcing game law. Don’t give them a reason to screw with you. He could take your stuff.
    The Gun is the Badge of a Free Man

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunsnwater View Post
    You must use a paper target. You have a time requirement between shots. These rules are how they limit range destruction. You knew the rules. Just because someone else is breaking the rules, doesn’t mean your allowed to also. I’m guessing binaries are not allowed. His false statement and claim of cutting you a break doesn’t effect anything except to piss you off. Game wardens have more powers than police in enforcing game law. Don’t give them a reason to screw with you. He could take your stuff.
    Yes. I know the rules; mea culpa. I had a paper target up on the 25 yard line but since I didn't want to be "that guy" that blows peoples ear drums out, I went to the 50 to test 5 rounds in rapid succession. The people at the 25 were still shooting, and I didn't want to call a cease fire just for a quick 2 second function test. Its now turned out to be the most expensive 2 seconds of my life (except for the time I said "I do" during my wedding).

    For what it's worth regarding the binary - he never mentioned it as not being restricted at a public range. In fact, he even asked what brand binary I had as he was interested in getting one himself. As for him saying that I fired more than 6 rounds - I'd like to think he just miscounted.

    Anyway, the conversation was a professional and courteous one. I too reciprocated in kind. I guess I'll just pay the fine and move on with my life.
    Pork-eating infidel and NRA Member

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    Yeah sucks but lesson learned I guess. I am not comfortable at game land ranges. They are too restrictive for me and too much b.s. goes on at them.
    The Gun is the Badge of a Free Man

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    I met my first wco last month in Berks county after using 5 different ranges over the past 7 years. He was actually friendly both to me and the others who had a steel target downrange that they got a warning for.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    Doing a bit more reading - it seems I'm being charged with a summary offense of the 5th degree under the PA Game and Wildlife Code. I assume this is different than being charged with a similar summary offense category under the Pennsylvania criminal code? Doing a google search on PA summary offenses makes me believe that this is something that could appear on my record for at minimum 5 years as a criminal offense, but they don't make a distinction whether the repercussions are the same depending on which code one is being charged against.

    I'd like to think that because I'm being charged under the wildlife code, that this would be treated somewhat differently then say someone charged with retail theft or drunk and disorderly? Any PA attorneys in the house that could clarify this?

    Edit: I saw this link which is why I'm hesitant to plead guilty: https://www.arjalaw.com/Summary-Offenses.shtml

    Though a summary offense under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code or the Wildlife Code is by far the least serious of the categorized criminal offenses, it is important to note that if you have been charged with a nontraffic summary offense, you have been charged with a crime under Pennsylvania law. Because the nontraffic summary citation you receive in the mail appears similar to a traffic citation, many individuals simply elect to plead guilty and pay the fine. While in some cases this is an appropriate course of action, it is important to bear in mind that a guilty plea to a summary offense will result in a minor criminal conviction on your record and the conviction will be visible to schools, employers and professional licensure boards. Furthermore, it may result in suspension of your driver's license or, under the Game and Wildlife Code, suspension of your hunting privileges.
    Last edited by amstel78; June 5th, 2019 at 03:38 PM.
    Pork-eating infidel and NRA Member

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    Cut to the chase,and Pay the Fine and get on with life and less mulling over the ramifications of Getting Attorneys and fighting this in court,could go on for a year or more.Your peace of mind is worth $ 200 !

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Question regarding PGC summary citation issued at SGL 183

    Quote Originally Posted by MARINE DIVISION TWO View Post
    Cut to the chase,and Pay the Fine and get on with life and less mulling over the ramifications of Getting Attorneys and fighting this in court,could go on for a year or more.Your peace of mind is worth $ 200 !
    I'd be more than happy to pay the fine if once done, that's it. But did you see my edit in the post right above yours? The potential long-term repercussions of pleading guilty is really the only thing I'm concerned about.
    Pork-eating infidel and NRA Member

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