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Thread: IMPORTANT: Troubling Caselaw From Philly

  1. #1
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    IMPORTANT: Troubling Caselaw From Philly

    Comm v. Scarborough was published 04/07/2014 by the Superior Court. This was a stop and frisk case that originated with a violation of a Philly ordinance that prohibits operating a bicycle while using a cell phone.... The defendant ultimately is arrested for possessing a concealed firearm without a license.

    The troubling rationale of the courts....

    Section 6108 rationally addresses gun violence in Philadelphia. Throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a license is necessary only if carrying a concealed firearm; openly carried firearms do not require a license. However, in Philadelphia a firearm carried openly requires a license. See Commonwealth v. Hawkins, 547 Pa. 652, 657 n.4, 692 A.2d 1068, 1071 n.4 (1997). Clearly the purpose of the Legislature in enacting this prohibition is twofold. First, as the most populated city in the Commonwealth with a correspondingly high crime rate, the possession of a weapon on a city street, particularly the brandishing of a weapon, can invoke a fearful reaction on behalf of the citizenry and the possibility of a dangerous response by law enforcement officers.

    Second, a coordinate purpose is to aid in the efforts of law enforcement in the protection of the public; in Philadelphia, the police are empowered to arrest an individual for overtly carrying a firearm without first determining if it is licensed or operable. See Commonwealth v. Taggert, 997 A.2d 1189, 1196-1197 (Pa.Super. 2010) (viewing a gun allows for probable cause to arrest in Philadelphia), appeal denied, 610 Pa. 578, 17 A.3d 1254 (2011). We find that Section 6108 serves a legitimate state interest.

    We likewise find that Section 6106 rationally serves a legitimate purpose in regulating the possession of concealed weapons. The licensing process excludes criminals and the mentally ill. Therefore, the statute ensures that those who cannot obtain a license will face additional punishment if they are discovered with firearms concealed on their persons. Further, we find that the interplay of Sections 6106 and 6108, whereby a person who carries a concealed weapon in Philadelphia will always face enhanced sentencing exposure on a third degree felony, also addresses a legitimate state interest in curbing gun violence in Philadelphia. We find that the Legislature could legitimately amend Section 6106 to include carrying a concealed weapon in a city of the first class as a disqualifier for grading as a first degree misdemeanor. The interplay of Sections 6106 and 6108 simply accomplishes the same.

    Concealment without a license creates liability under Section 6106, while possession in Philadelphia without a license creates liability under Section 6108. Where there is both concealment and possession in Philadelphia without a license, we find that the Legislature can constitutionally impose a harsher penalty because the danger is magnified by the coalescence of two separate circumstances. We find that a legitimate state interest in curbing the culture of gun violence in Philadelphia is thereby served and due process and equal protection are not offended.
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  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    See many problems with that case.

    There is no "brandishing" statute to the best of my knowledge in Pennsylvania.

    Charged with "carrying concealed" when he was open carrying.

    Invoking "a fearful reaction on behalf of the citizenry and the possibility of a dangerous response by law enforcement officers"
    Reacting with fear creates a crime now? If LEOs are responding in a dangerous manner, then they should be sanctioned - not the good people.

    I don't see where the subject on his bicycle had a permit or not.

    IMO the special status for Philadelphia should be rescinded - preemption should be total and equal for all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    See many problems with that case.

    There is no "brandishing" statute to the best of my knowledge in Pennsylvania.

    Charged with "carrying concealed" when he was open carrying.

    Invoking "a fearful reaction on behalf of the citizenry and the possibility of a dangerous response by law enforcement officers"
    Reacting with fear creates a crime now? If LEOs are responding in a dangerous manner, then they should be sanctioned - not the good people.

    I don't see where the subject on his bicycle had a permit or not.

    IMO the special status for Philadelphia should be rescinded - preemption should be total and equal for all.
    The court made a finding that he CCed ... a reviewing court is likely not going to reverse this finding.

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