Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Mohrsville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Illegal reference check?

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm not sure if I should post this here or the Law & Politics section.

    Quick background, I live in Berks and have my LTCF, easy in-and-out, 5 minutes, no references required.

    On Monday a friend of mine living in Pike County submitted his application for a LTCF. Not only did he have to provide references(which I was more than happy to be), they also required him to sign two other forms.

    Today, I received a letter in the mail from the Pike County sheriff's department with a questionnaire about the applicant, for a "pistol permit" that I need to fill out and return within 10 days.

    1. There's no such thing as a "pistol permit."
    2. Is it legal for them to have him sign two additional forms, in addition to the LTCF application?
    3. Is it legal for them to contact me, via mail to request additional information, which I must also sign and return?

    How is any of this legal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Southwest, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    The sheriff is reqiured to "conduct an investigation" to determine if your friend should be issued a LTCF. Unfortunately, in accordance with the character clause, this investigation can also include other people's opinions of your character. This includes person's whom are your references, and also anyone else who may be aware you have applied and may disapprove, for any reason.

    It is left to the sheriff's discression whether or not any allegations against your character are credible. This is why it is incorrect to refer to PA as a "Shall Issue" state. You may be denied your LTCF, despite never being convicted of a prohibiting offense. Of course, you may also appeal this denial, and may indeed prevail.

    PS: I am unaware of what other papers your friend may have signed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Mohrsville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    I'm pretty sure Philly tried to pull the same stunt, and the courts said it was illegal.

    https://blog.princelaw.com/2014/11/1...-applications/

    I don't know how to post a screen shot. Here is the application packet.

    https://www.pikepa.org/Sheriffs/LTCApp.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Southwest, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    Relevant code;

    6109. Licenses.

    (d) Sheriff to conduct investigation.--The sheriff to whom the application is made shall:

    (1) investigate the applicant's record of criminal conviction;

    (2) investigate whether or not the applicant is under indictment for or has ever been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year;

    (3)
    investigate whether the applicant's character and reputation are such that the applicant will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety;


    (4) investigate whether the applicant would be precluded from receiving a license under subsection (e)(1) or section 6105(h) (relating to persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms); and

    (5) conduct a criminal background, juvenile delinquency and mental health check following the procedures set forth in section 6111 (relating to sale or transfer of firearms), receive a unique approval number for that inquiry and record the date and number on the application.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oakland Mills, Pennsylvania
    (Juniata County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    MY guess is one of the papers was a release to allow him to contact other people as part of the investigation. I say that because when I went to renew my license in Juniata county 2 years ago, they had added this form.

    I handed my renewal form in, as well as that 2nd paper back in. 2nd paper was left blank. She handed it back to me and said, politely, that I had forgotten to fill it out. I replied, that No, I had not forgotten, that the form was illegal, the only documentation that was legally allowed to be requested was the 1 page standard form provided by PSP, and I would not be filling out anything in violation of the law. There was some chatter in the back office that I couldn't overhear, but I received by LTCF a few minutes later, after they had done the PICS check.

    marinville statement is correct, however that part of the law also conflicts with the fact that disclosure of LTCF information is prohibited and very illegal. You know know you're friend is obtaining a LTCF.
    1. Correct.
    2. No.
    3. No.

    Your friend should contact a gun rights lawyer.
    "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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Exclamation Re: Illegal reference check?

    Someone posted recently

    LTCF Renewal Experience Today, No References Needed
    http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=354810

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Mohrsville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    Quote Originally Posted by PAMedic=F|A= View Post
    MY guess is one of the papers was a release to allow him to contact other people as part of the investigation. I say that because when I went to renew my license in Juniata county 2 years ago, they had added this form.

    I handed my renewal form in, as well as that 2nd paper back in. 2nd paper was left blank. She handed it back to me and said, politely, that I had forgotten to fill it out. I replied, that No, I had not forgotten, that the form was illegal, the only documentation that was legally allowed to be requested was the 1 page standard form provided by PSP, and I would not be filling out anything in violation of the law. There was some chatter in the back office that I couldn't overhear, but I received by LTCF a few minutes later, after they had done the PICS check.

    marinville statement is correct, however that part of the law also conflicts with the fact that disclosure of LTCF information is prohibited and very illegal. You know know you're friend is obtaining a LTCF.
    1. Correct.
    2. No.
    3. No.

    Your friend should contact a gun rights lawyer.
    I'm going to fill it out and return it so that he can get his LTCF. But I'm also going to reach out to Joshua Prince. This is B.S. as far as I'm concerned.

    He doesn't want to cause any waves. He's just happy to be out of Jersey.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Mohrsville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    He also mentioned that they had some sort of local law for the LTCF application, because they are part of the "Tri-State" area between NY and NJ.

    I've never heard of this, but I'd be willing to bet it's also illegal under preemption?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Honesdale, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    Sheriff Mark Steelman does this in neighboring Wayne County PA too. His office mails a letter to both your references asking a number of questions about you. You can be denied if any answers are not up to his satisfaction.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
    (Dauphin County)
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    Default Re: Illegal reference check?

    Quote Originally Posted by 556FMJ View Post
    He doesn't want to cause any waves. He's just happy to be out of Jersey.
    Just keep reminding him to vote for conservative R's. It reduces the risk of PA becoming the shithole he left.

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