Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    (York County)
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    Default PA Supreme Court - Overrules Commonwealth v. Robinson (from 1991 Superior Court)

    "The court ruled a police officer’s knowledge that a person is carrying a gun no longer constitutes reasonable suspicion to detain and investigate whether they’re licensed to do so.

    The rule that allowed Pennsylvania police to do so “subverts the fundamental protections of the Fourth Amendment,” the court said. It noted Pennsylvania issues hundreds of thousands of licenses to carry firearms every year."

    Majority Opinion Written by Justice Wecht - Joined by Saylor, Todd & Donohue:

    Conclusion: We accordingly overrule Robinson and those decisions of our Superior Court that have reaffirmed and applied its holding.
    Hicks sought allowance of appeal in this Court, which we granted in order to consider whether the Superior Court’s continued application of the Robinson rule comports with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.(4)

    Footnote (4) & (5)

    (4) Adopting Hicks’ phrasing of the question, we granted allowance of appeal to determine:
    Whether the Superior Court’s bright line rule holding that possession of a concealed firearm in public is sufficient to create reasonable suspicion is a matter of such substantial public importance as to require prompt and definitive resolution by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court?
    Commonwealth v. Hicks, 172 A.3d 583 (Pa. 2017) (per curiam).

    (5)Hicks also invokes his constitutional right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. See U.S. CONST. amend. II (“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”); PA. CONST. art. I, 21 (“The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”).

    Although the right to keep and bear arms serves as an important conceptual backdrop to numerous legal issues surrounding firearms and the enforcement of the criminal law, our analysis will not focus upon the contours of that right. The issue presented is one of law enforcement practice, and the constitutional right at issue is the freedom from unreasonable, warrantless seizure of the person for purposes of criminal investigation. As such, this case is governed by the Fourth Amendment’s Terry doctrine, not by the right to keep and bear arms.
    A license to carry a firearm further authorizes an individual to carry a firearm openly or concealed within the City of Philadelphia. 18 Pa.C.S. 6108.(6) Accordingly, “[i]n all parts of Pennsylvania, persons who are licensed may carry concealed firearms.” Commonwealth v. Hawkins, 692 A.2d 1068, 1071 n.4 (Pa. 1997) (plurality). Stated otherwise, an individual licensed to carry a firearm may do so in public, openly or concealed, within a vehicle or without, throughout every municipality in Pennsylvania.
    Crime and violence are ever-present threats in society, and it can be tempting to look to the government to provide protection from “dangerous” people with constant vigilance. However, the protections of the Fourth Amendment remain an essential bulwark against the overreaches and abuses of governmental authority over all individuals. Notwithstanding the dangers posed by the few, we must remain wary of the diminution of the core liberties that define our republic, even when the curtailment of individual liberty appears to serve an interest as paramount as public safety.

    Concurring - Justice Baer:

    Concurring - Justice Dougherty (Joined By MUNDY):

    Last edited by ImminentDanger; June 1st, 2019 at 02:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Douglassville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: PA Supreme Court - Overrules Commonwealth v. Robinson (from 1991 Superior Court)

    Red is grey and yellow white, But we decide which is right, And which is an illusion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    East side of the ANF, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: PA Supreme Court - Overrules Commonwealth v. Robinson (from 1991 Superior Court)

    Yep, already in discussion per WH post.

    Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.

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