pa2a.org


Share Thread:  
Carbon county Sheriff and LTCF
#11
Take it easy, buddy. If there's some law or court decision out there that I'm not aware of, please let me see it. I'm looking at this from BOTH sides. So, don't jump down my throat, yet. Otherwise here's a little excerpt of what is in the UFA...

Quote:§6109 Licenses
(d) SHERIFF TO CONDUCT INVESTIGATION. — The sheriff to whom the application is made shall:
(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;

First, I'm not a lawyer. I'm just going by what I've read. So, if I'm wrong, please correct me. This subsection doesn't say HOW the Sheriff is to conduct the investigation. It just says that he SHALL conduct an investigation into the applicant's character and reputation as far as if the applicant might act in a manner dangerous to public safety. One would say that checking local references is a way to do that. I guess the Sheriff could even go knocking on your neighbors' doors to check on you. I guess he could (for example) even see a Disorderly Conduct conviction on your record for something involving a firearm and deem you to be a danger to public safety. Unless there is something somewhere that dictates how the Sheriff can conduct the investigation, he is free to do it in a manner necessary so long as it doesn't go beyond just checking into §6109(d)(3) or violate any other law.

On the other hand, it doesn't exactly seem fair to say that you have to provide references that live in the county. Even for someone who just moved into the county, that might be impossible. Or even, what if the Sheriff issues LTCFs to out-of-state residents? Let's say you have someone who wants to hunt in Pennsylvania and doesn't know anyone here. How is it fair to them? I agree. It's not. But, is it legal for the Sheriff to require this? I don't know. If someone could provide info that says it's not legal, I would appreciate it.

PS - I know MDJs aren't part of the executive branch. But they are elected just like the Sheriffs are. And they also tend to abuse their authority and discretion. Maybe in a different way, but still the same concept. Any Joe Schmoe can run for MDJ, just like for Sheriff. You don't need to be a lawyer to be a MDJ.
"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
-Ernest Hemingway
Reply
#12
The sheriff has no authority to change the application form or the instructions within it


Quote:18 Pa.C.S. § 6109: Licenses
...
© Form of application and content.--The application for a license to carry a firearm shall be uniform throughout this Commonwealth and shall be on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police. The form may contain provisions, not exceeding one page, to assure compliance with this section. Issuing authorities shall use only the application form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police.

The PSP emphasize that point in the PA Code

Quote: 037 Pa. Code § 33.114. Application for a Pennsylvania license to carry firearms.


...
(b) The application for a Pennsylvania license to carry firearms (as defined in section 6102 of the act) shall be typewritten, computer generated or printed in blue or black ink with a ballpoint pen. Copies shall contain legible impressions. It is the responsibility of the issuing authority to utilize the form as prescribed by the State Police, and ensure it is accurately completed in accordance with the block instructions contained therein. The form shall be retained by the issuing authority for 6 years.

Release of information about the application to third parties is a felony.

Quote: 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111: Sale or transfer of firearms

...
(3.1) Any person, licensed dealer, licensed manufacturer or licensed importer who knowingly and intentionally obtains or furnishes information collected or maintained pursuant to section 6109 for any purpose other than compliance with this chapter or who knowingly or intentionally disseminates, publishes or otherwise makes available such information to any person other than the subject of the information commits a felony of the third degree.

Refusal to issue a license requires good cause

Quote:18 Pa.C.S. § 6109: Licenses

...
(1) A license to carry a firearm shall be for the purpose of carrying a firearm concealed on or about one's person or in a vehicle and shall be issued if, after an investigation not to exceed 45 days, it appears that the applicant is an individual concerning whom no good cause exists to deny the license. A license shall not be issued to any of the following:

So despite the piecemeal quoting of a somewhat vague section of statute that ignores the obvious problems with the very same statute and others, as outlined above, I already know you can't cite a single statute authorizing the sheriff to violate the uniformity provisions of 6109 or the subsequent directions in the PA Code to follow the block instructions on the application.

Hey, ignoring subsections of the law that are merely inconvenient for petty tyranny is an all too common practice among Sheriffs, the PSP, and the PCCD with regards to firearms licenses. Whether it's illegal fees, illegal reference requirements, illegally shutting down mail applications, violating Sunshine laws with the PA LTCF Advisory Committee, etc, they only care if someone sues or makes enough noise.

Speaking of sides, the Sheriff is supposed to be on the side of the law and the rights of the people. When the sheriff goes rogue and just makes up restrictions on fundamental rights that the constitution and statutes do not provide for he's dropped off of any side I care to respect.
IronSight, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
Reply
#13
Quote:The sheriff has no authority to change the application form or the instructions within it

You are correct. He does not have such authority. I also agree that various agencies (PSP, Sheriffs) tend to push the limit until they are called out on it. I think PSP pushed it when they added the two references boxes on the application. There's nothing that says two references are required, nor anything that says the boxes have to be on the application form. On the other hand, there's nothing that says they can't be on the application. So, I guess PSP gets away with it. That is, unless someone's called them out on it? I do remember that a few Sheriffs used to modify the application form and customize it for themselves. I think that's pretty much taken care of now that PSP cracked down on that.

Quote:§6111 Sale or transfer of firearms
(g) PENALTIES. -
(3.1) Any person, licensed dealer, licensed manufacturer or licensed importer who knowingly and intentionally obtains or furnishes information collected or maintained pursuant to section 6109 for any purpose other than compliance with this chapter or who knowingly or intentionally disseminates, publishes or otherwise makes available such information to any person other than the subject of the information commits a felony of the third degree.

This one's a little odd. Of course, the Sheriff is a "person" so it would apply to him, too. But, since the Sheriff is permitted to investigate the person and whether they are a danger to public safety, it would be rather odd for him to go to your neighbor and say, "I'm here to inquire about your neighbor and if he could be a danger to society. I can't tell you why I'm asking, though." Another idea: the Sheriff could say that you have to agree to him furnishing information about you to your references since he's going to check them. I'm not sure if there's anything giving him authority to do that, though.

Quote:So despite the piecemeal quoting of a somewhat vague section of statute that ignores the obvious problems with the very same statute and others, as outlined above, I already know you can't cite a single statute authorizing the sheriff to violate the uniformity provisions of 6109 or the subsequent directions in the PA Code to follow the block instructions on the application.

Here's my point from before, though. Out of everything quoted, nothing says the Sheriff can't require "in-county" references. Requiring in-county references doesn't change the form or content of the application. I understand what you're saying about what each block says. I think if you were to take solely that matter to Court, you'd have varying decisions from different jurisdictions. Some Judges may say that the Sheriff has that discretion to require that. Other Judges may be more oriented to the exact letter of the law and go the other way. Who knows.

If the Sheriff isn't disseminating information to the references, he's not violating §6111. The only thing that might catch this is if the Sheriff denies the application based on the fact that you didn't provide the in-county references. Then an applicant can appeal the decision to the Court. The Sheriff's only real defense would be, "I can't determine if he's a danger to public safety because he doesn't know anyone in the county." If that's the case, then I'm sure the Sheriff's decision would be reversed.

Quote:Hey, ignoring subsections of the law that are merely inconvenient for petty tyranny is an all too common practice among Sheriffs, the PSP, and the PCCD with regards to firearms licenses. Whether it's illegal fees, illegal reference requirements, illegally shutting down mail applications, violating Sunshine laws with the PA LTCF Advisory Committee, etc, they only care if someone sues or makes enough noise.

I agree with this as well. The fee for a LTCF is supposed to be $20. I see that quite a few Sheriffs charge more than that. By the way, what did you mean by illegally shutting down mail applications? The Sheriff can't create a LTCF without the applicant being present for a photograph. §6109(e)(4) says that the Sheriff shall require a photograph and that the photograph shall be in a form compatible with the Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network (CPIN). I can tell you that CPIN's requirements are very strict and I highly doubt that anyone could email a photo in and have it be compatible with CPIN. Besides, in all honesty, would you allow someone to mail or email you a photo for a LTCF when you have no way of verifying if that's the photo of the actual applicant?
"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
-Ernest Hemingway
Reply
#14
shademtarmory;114074 Wrote:
Quote:The sheriff has no authority to change the application form or the instructions within it

You are correct. He does not have such authority. I also agree that various agencies (PSP, Sheriffs) tend to push the limit until they are called out on it. I think PSP pushed it when they added the two references boxes on the application. There's nothing that says two references are required, nor anything that says the boxes have to be on the application form. On the other hand, there's nothing that says they can't be on the application. So, I guess PSP gets away with it. That is, unless someone's called them out on it? I do remember that a few Sheriffs used to modify the application form and customize it for themselves. I think that's pretty much taken care of now that PSP cracked down on that.

Quote:§6111 Sale or transfer of firearms
(g) PENALTIES. -
(3.1) Any person, licensed dealer, licensed manufacturer or licensed importer who knowingly and intentionally obtains or furnishes information collected or maintained pursuant to section 6109 for any purpose other than compliance with this chapter or who knowingly or intentionally disseminates, publishes or otherwise makes available such information to any person other than the subject of the information commits a felony of the third degree.

This one's a little odd. Of course, the Sheriff is a "person" so it would apply to him, too. But, since the Sheriff is permitted to investigate the person and whether they are a danger to public safety, it would be rather odd for him to go to your neighbor and say, "I'm here to inquire about your neighbor and if he could be a danger to society. I can't tell you why I'm asking, though." Another idea: the Sheriff could say that you have to agree to him furnishing information about you to your references since he's going to check them. I'm not sure if there's anything giving him authority to do that, though.

Quote:So despite the piecemeal quoting of a somewhat vague section of statute that ignores the obvious problems with the very same statute and others, as outlined above, I already know you can't cite a single statute authorizing the sheriff to violate the uniformity provisions of 6109 or the subsequent directions in the PA Code to follow the block instructions on the application.

Here's my point from before, though. Out of everything quoted, nothing says the Sheriff can't require "in-county" references. Requiring in-county references doesn't change the form or content of the application. I understand what you're saying about what each block says. I think if you were to take solely that matter to Court, you'd have varying decisions from different jurisdictions. Some Judges may say that the Sheriff has that discretion to require that. Other Judges may be more oriented to the exact letter of the law and go the other way. Who knows.

If the Sheriff isn't disseminating information to the references, he's not violating §6111. The only thing that might catch this is if the Sheriff denies the application based on the fact that you didn't provide the in-county references. Then an applicant can appeal the decision to the Court. The Sheriff's only real defense would be, "I can't determine if he's a danger to public safety because he doesn't know anyone in the county." If that's the case, then I'm sure the Sheriff's decision would be reversed.

Quote:Hey, ignoring subsections of the law that are merely inconvenient for petty tyranny is an all too common practice among Sheriffs, the PSP, and the PCCD with regards to firearms licenses. Whether it's illegal fees, illegal reference requirements, illegally shutting down mail applications, violating Sunshine laws with the PA LTCF Advisory Committee, etc, they only care if someone sues or makes enough noise.

I agree with this as well. The fee for a LTCF is supposed to be $20. I see that quite a few Sheriffs charge more than that. By the way, what did you mean by illegally shutting down mail applications? The Sheriff can't create a LTCF without the applicant being present for a photograph. §6109(e)(4) says that the Sheriff shall require a photograph and that the photograph shall be in a form compatible with the Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network (CPIN). I can tell you that CPIN's requirements are very strict and I highly doubt that anyone could email a photo in and have it be compatible with CPIN. Besides, in all honesty, would you allow someone to mail or email you a photo for a LTCF when you have no way of verifying if that's the photo of the actual applicant?

Requiring in-county references absolutely changes the form of the application. By changing requirements for a specific section the sheriff is, by default, adding requirements to the form that he has no authority to make. Although I will grant you the fact that since a sheriff isn't physically altering the form you might get some low-level justices to excuse the behavior.

You are right that if a Sheriff does not actually tell a reference why he's calling he's not violating 6111 directly. Seems to make references useless, doesn't it? Other counties directly and obviously contact references, which would bring that legal issue into play. I plan on leaving references blank when I renew my LTCF & I'm going to risk a denied application to fight the matter.

There shouldn't be a single sheriff overcharging any more; I have assurances from the PA Sheriffs Association that that matter was handled. If you know of any definitely overcharging, please let me know and I'll forward it directly to them.

Regarding CPIN I suppose calling that move definitively 'illegal' is premature. I researched the matter when it first came up since eliminating mail applications was a conscious choice partly born out of talks from the PA LTCF advisory committee, according to public statements by one member of the committee. I'm still trying to get transcripts of those meetings, however, or at least meeting agendas minutes, with little success. I have one agenda and a few documents so far, not enough.

To date, despite several requests to various officials I have yet to be provided with evidence that passport-quality photos would not be able to be scanned into the CPIN system. If it is impossible, you would be correct, but I'd like to know whether the barrier for scanned photo entry into the system was purposefully done or if it was actually a legitimate technological barrier not put into place through ill-will. If you happen to have the technical standards for CPIN (and their updates from the time period of 2005-present) those would help to answer that question. The over-riding problem is that the PCCD and PSP have essentially engaged in law-making through regulations, adding various requirements to the application process that they weren't explicitly authorized to do.

The CPIN standard is enacted legislatively though, which is why I've been trying to get answers on where and when the technological limitation on scanned photos came about. If that limitation has always existed with CPIN then shuttering mail applications is a consequence of the change to 6109. If the limitation was added purposefully, however, there are issues I have with that. Some of the information I've got suggests the later scenario, but not enough to know for sure one way or the other. In short, I'm still looking into that.

Every elected official I previously worked with on the matter of correcting licensing fees didn't seem to care about anything other than the fee requirement. Questions about CPIN, the quality (or lack thereof) of licenses, reference requirements, interviews & fingerprints (Philly), the actual work done by the advisory committee, these have largely gone unanswered.

I'll gladly continue the discussion on CPIN and other topics with you, but it might be best to take it to PM or a new thread so as not to take this one off topic from the direct actions of the Carbon County Sheriff. The CPIN matter is more of a state level discussion regarding various state agencies, not a local matter. The Sheriff, after all, is stuck following state regulations with CPIN even if he could find an unauthorized way to scan a photo in.
IronSight, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
Reply
#15
Quote:I'll gladly continue the discussion on CPIN and other topics with you, but it might be best to take it to PM or a new thread so as not to take this one off topic from the direct actions of the Carbon County Sheriff.

LOL! Yeah, I guess it is.
"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
-Ernest Hemingway
Reply






Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Is there any one from carbon county on here Rcpaul 8 2,246 08-04-2013, 03:33 PM
Last Post: father-of-three
  Carbon county roll call Rcpaul 4 1,258 02-05-2013, 09:25 PM
Last Post: Rcpaul



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Software by MyBB, © 2002-2015 MyBB Group.
Template by Modogodo Design.