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Thread: Open Carry In PA? Yes or NO?

  1. #1
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    So back in early September we were out in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh, on Forbes Ave. I was carring concealed as I had a zip up sweatshirt on.
    I had read on several forums and sites that PA is in fact "open carry" but I always like to get the scoop from people "in person". I had also been told by an employee at a PA range that while it is legal, expect to get harrassed by LEOs.

    Now....we pulled into the Exxon on Forbes to get some gas, and I noticed an Allegheny County Sherrif in his car, window down, just hanging out so i walked up and struck up a conversation and inquired about open carry.

    He informed me that Open Carry is NOT legal in PA, and that a few days before he had to revoke someones LTCF, because the person was "showing" (bottom of gun holster exposed while reaching for a top shelf) at a local supermarket.

    He then went on to say that open carry is the "rumour" in PA, and people like to test the theory, but he has seen people prosecuted for it.

    SO, my question is....how much truth is there to what he was saying and does anyone have any links to PA.gov sites with any statutes that pertain to this?

    Sadly I didnt get the Sherrifs name or badge number as I thought that would be out of place in a "friendly" conversation.

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    Wow!

    I believe that LEO is totally wrong! If he did in fact revoke someones LTCF permit forhis gun being exposed, that sounds just plain illegal. Open carry in Pennsylvania is legal WITHOUT a permit everywhere except Philadelphia, and even legal there WITH a permit.

    Disclaimer:

    I am not from PA, and I am not a lawyer.

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    Open carry is legal in Pennsylvania. See the following two court cases:



    Commonwealth v. Hawkins, 692 A.2d 1068, n.4 (“In all parts of Pennsylvania, persons who are licensed may carry concealed firearms. 18 Pa.C.S. § 6108. Except in Philadelphia, firearms may be carried openly without a license. See Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 545 Pa. 279, 283, 681 A.2d 152, 155 (1996) (only in Philadelphia must a person obtain a license for carrying a firearm whether it is unconcealed or concealed; in other parts of the Commonwealth, unconcealed firearms do not require a license)”).



    Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 545 Pa. 279; 681 A.2d 152 (1996) (agreeing with appellant’s citation of the fact that "...in Philadelphia County, the legislature requires that a person must be licensed to carry weapons openly and not concealed from sight, whereas in all other counties of Pennsylvania, weapons may be carried openly without a license [, but holding that appellant’s argument that this fact then exempts Philadelphia from state preemption statute] is plainly without merit” [emphasis added]”).



    As for your Deputy Sheriff revoking someone's LTCF just for "showing," the following subsection of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109 applies:



    (i) Revocation.--A license to carry firearms may be revoked by the issuing authority for good cause. A license to carry firearms shall be revoked by the issuing authority for any reason stated in subsection (e)(1) which occurs during the term of the permit. Notice of revocation shall be in writing and shall state the specific reason for revocation. Notice shall be sent by certified mail, and, at that time, a copy shall be forwarded to the commissioner. An individual whose license is revoked shall surrender the license to the issuing authority within five days of receipt of the notice. An individual whose license is revoked may appeal to the court of common pleas for the judicial district in which the individual resides. An individual who violates this section commits a summary offense.



    Note, the section only gives the Sheriff to revoke for violation of subsection (e)(1), which states:



    (e) Issuance of license.--

    (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:



    (i) An individual whose character and reputation is such that the individual would be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.
    (ii) An individual who has been convicted of an offense under the
    act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.
    (iii) An individual convicted of a crime enumerated in section 6105.
    (iv) An individual who, within the past ten years, has been adjudicated delinquent for a crime enumerated in section 6105 or for an offense under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.
    (v) An individual who is not of sound mind or who has ever been committed to a mental institution.
    (vi) An individual who is addicted to or is an unlawful user of marijuana or a stimulant, depressant or narcotic drug.
    (vii) An individual who is a habitual drunkard.
    (viii) An individual who is charged with or has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year except as provided for in section 6123 (relating to waiver of disability or pardons).
    (ix) A resident of another state who does not possess a current license or permit or similar document to carry a firearm issued by that state if a license is provided for by the laws of that state, as published annually in the Federal Register by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the Department of the Treasury under
    18 U.S.C. 921(a)(19) (relating to definitions).
    (x) An alien who is illegally in the United States.
    (xi) An individual who has been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions.
    (xii) An individual who is a fugitive from justice. This subparagraph does not apply to an individual whose fugitive status is based upon nonmoving or moving summary offense under
    Title 75 (relating to vehicles.)
    (xiii) An individual who is otherwise prohibited from possessing, using, manufacturing, controlling, purchasing, selling or transferring a firearm as provided by section 6105.
    Also note, revocation for "showing" alone is not grounds for revocation. Anyone treated thusly would be entitled to take the Sheriff to court for Abuse of Authority, to wit:

    § 5301. Official oppression.[/b]

    A person acting or purporting to act in an official capacity or taking advantage of such actual or purported capacity commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, knowing that his conduct is illegal, he:

    1. subjects another to arrest, detention, search, seizure, mistreatment, dispossession, assessment, lien or other infringement of personal or property rights; or
    2. denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power or immunity.
    The person whose license was revoked for showing could also take court action to expunge the revocation since it was legal to begin with.





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    Awesome!
    Thanks, thats going right to the printer and into the glove box!!!!

    I travel to PA alot, and I carry everytime.

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    I see that the facts have already been presented, so I'll give my unsolicited opinion.

    You made the mistake of relying on a law enforcement officer for legal information. They recieve only minimal legal training, focusing on the main laws they need to enforce, and frequently have a poor understanding of basic principles of American jurisprudence. I never trust legal information from an LEO. If you feel you must ask one, get them to give you the statute that makes the action illegal, and then verify it independently. They frequently have no idea, and sometimes are even trying to present their own opinion as the law.

    If you need a legal question answered, ask a lawyer, not a cop. The cops do not have your best interests in mind.

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    Seems to be the common response for a LEO to lie about the topic if he/she does no approve. Thank Statkowski for citing the PA revised code for you. (I had to go to the library and research myself here in OH). Keep these with you as backup. You might also want to get the wording for BS like "disorderly conduct" and "inciting panic" which almost certainly do not include episodes of legal open carry, although LEOS may bully you with it.

    I believe the LEO was lying so he and his coworkers could be the only ones OCing, and he would not have to respond to a "guy with a gun" call.

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    hirundo82 wrote:
    I see that the facts have already been presented, so I'll give my unsolicited opinion.

    You made the mistake of relying on a law enforcement officer for legal information. They recieve only minimal legal training, focusing on the main laws they need to enforce, and frequently have a poor understanding of basic principles of American jurisprudence. I never trust legal information from an LEO. If you feel you must ask one, get them to give you the statute that makes the action illegal, and then verify it independently. They frequently have no idea, and sometimes are even trying to present their own opinion as the law.

    If you need a legal question answered, ask a lawyer, not a cop. The cops do not have your best interests in mind.
    Thats pretty much what I figured walking away from that conversation, hence the info request on here.
    Its a real shame that LEOs are so undereducated on the subject.
    Dont get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for them, but i do seriously feel they need to be better educated by someone other than "US" on the laws regarding legal ownership and carrying of firearms.

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    Well guys, look at it this way - the police are not paid or trained to give legal opinions - by asking them for a legal opinion on open carry, you are putting them in a bad spot - let's say Officer Smith Says to 22 year old Johnny, "Yes, Open carry is legal in PA and most states."

    What if Johnny gets into some trouble while openly carrying and it is reported in the newspapers that Officer Smith recommends that folks open carry?

    Hmm, officer Smith is probably going to be'splainin' for a while...

    And so many LEOs are pretty "risk averse" when answering folks' questions on the limits of lawful conduct. That is actually just rational economic behavior.

    So as a general rule, don't ask LEOs for legal advice, especially on guns. The question forces them to take a side, and then it's "you against them."

    Just go about your business and open carry if you want to where it is not illegal (only a few states ban open carry). Fait accompli is the goal.


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    Yeah, I agree that they should be better educated in the law, but there are many other things they need to learn too. I think that even if they just realized that saying "I don't know" is a valid response, it would be an improvement. However, I think that many feel that the aura of authority that the badge gives them doesn't allow them to project an air of anything less than omniscience.

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    § 5503. Disorderly conduct.[/b]



    (a) Offense defined. – A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:



    (1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;



    (2) makes unreasonable noise;



    (3) uses obscene language, or makes an ob­scene gesture; or



    (4) creates a hazardous or physically offen­sive condition by any act which serves no legiti­mate purpose of the actor. [Emphasis added]



    (b) Grading. - An offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in dis­orderly conduct after reasonable warning or re­quest to desist. Otherwise disorderly conduct is a summary offense.



    (c) Definition. - As used in this section the word "public" means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a sub­stantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, any neighborhood, or any premises which are open to the public.



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    Did you by chance get the deputy's name? Reason I ask is my cousin works for the Allegheny County Sheriff's department, Deputy Perna.

    If it was him we are going to have to have a talk!

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    Carter,

    Do you think you can start a dialogue in general with Allegheny County?

    -Lonnie

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    Pennsylvania also requires a permit to carry in a vehicle, whether openly or concealed. However, for the purposes of carrying in a vehicle only, Pennsylvania recognizes permits from any state. However, you cannot carry a concealed firearm on your person outside a vehicle in Pennsylvania except with a Pennsylvania permit or a permit from one of Pennsylvania's reciprocal states.

    See http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/crime.aspx?id=184for Pennsylvania's current reciprocity list.

    18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6106. (effective May 9, 2006)

    (a) Offense defined.--

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.

    (2) A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license under this chapter but carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license and has not committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

    (b) Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

    * * *

    (11) Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle, which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the United States or any other state.

    (12) A person who has a lawfully issued license to carry a firearm pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) and that said license expired within six months prior to the date of arrest and that the individual is otherwise eligible for renewal of the license.

    (13) Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a firearm under this chapter and who is operating a motor vehicle which is registered in the person's name or the name of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which a valid license has been issued pursuant to section 6109 to the spouse or parent owning the firearm.

    (14) A person lawfully engaged in the interstate transportation of a firearm as defined under 18 U.S.C § 921(a)(3) (relating to definitions) in compliance with 18 U.S.C. § 926A (relating to interstate transportation of firearms).

    (15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and the state under section 6109(k), provided:

    (i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for individuals licensed to carry firearms under section 6109.
    (ii) The Attorney General has determined that the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.

    [line]
    Please note that section 6106(b)(15) has not yet been used to grant reciprocity to any state that recognizes Pennsylvania permits but which has not signed a formal reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

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    WVCDL wrote:
    Please note that section 6106(b)(15) has not yet been used to grant reciprocity to any state that recognizes Pennsylvania permits but which has not signed a formal reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania.
    Good point - the PA AG's office needs to get on this ASAP.

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    what is the on foot all about?

    So if a Man/Woman is riding a bicycle while open carrying with no permit, they can get arrested in PA?



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    FreeorDie wrote:
    what is the on foot all about?

    So if a Man/Woman is riding a bicycle while open carrying with no permit, they can get arrested in PA?

    Please check out the PA Uniform Firearms Act, a relatively rcent version of which is linked to from this site to Packing.org's PA page - like many states, PA has a heightened regulation of vehicle gun carry; in many other states, regulation of vewhicle carry is actually relaxed in comparioson to foot carry.

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    Mike wrote:
    FreeorDie wrote:
    what is the on foot all about?

    So if a Man/Woman is riding a bicycle while open carrying with no permit, they can get arrested in PA?

    Please check out the PA Uniform Firearms Act, a relatively rcent version of which is linked to from this site to Packing.org's PA page - like many states, PA has a heightened regulation of vehicle gun carry; in many other states, regulation of vewhicle carry is actually relaxed in comparioson to foot carry.
    ok, looked at 75, there is nothing there about firearms and bicycles.

    Easier yet, if your pedaling your bike while open carrying, is that considered concealed carrying?

    Thanks

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    spoke to a COP from Reading PA and you guys that open carry there are in for a treat!

    From the conversation, the courts WILL back the COPS all the way on there arrests for open carrying! Even the chief seemed like he is ok with his guys violating the Citizens rights to open carry!

    Can not call these guys LEO when they are NOT enforcing the law!

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    FreeorDie wrote:
    spoke to a COP from Reading PA and you guys that open carry there are in for a treat! From the conversation, the courts WILL back the COPS all the way! Can not call these guys LEO when they are NOT enforcing the law!
    FreeorDie,

    You need to more specific on the subject. Back them up...on what? An arrest? A revocation of LTCF? We need more information to take on these morons.

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    Why are people still asking the police to give legal advice?

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    Mike wrote:
    Why are people still asking the police to give legal advice?

    Actually Mike, the conversation was about open carrying in PA (Reading in particular). Noone was aking the COP any legal advice. The point that was being made on the post above is basically that the folks in Reading SHOULD open carry, you would probably see a DRAMATIC drop in crime! BUT, also to know that the crooked cops, the few that are there, mostly rookies, will probably arrest you. Just to be forwarned.

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    Bringing up the subject of OC to LEOs is like asking for advice on that topic. There is nothing to be fore-warned about - the LEOs should be fore-warned enough by the PA Suprem Courtopinion declaring OC legal without permit, at http://www.courts.state.pa.us/oppost...f/k00jiz95.pdf:

    SNIP

    "Except in Philadelphia, firearms may be carried openly without a license. See Ortiz v. Commonwealth, ___ Pa. ___, ___, 681 A.2d 152, 155 (1996) (only in Philadelphia must a person obtain a license for carrying a firearm whether it is unconcealed or concealed; in other parts of the Commonwealth, unconcealed firearms do not require a license)."



    We need folks to start OCing regularly in Reading then and get in the news to help clarify to all concerned.

  23. #23
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    You are one hundred percent correct!

    Mike, you might enjoy the letter written to the news reporter that was there from a Citizen.

    __________________________________________________ __________________

    Greetings Melissa,
    MelissaBatulis@wfmz.com

    You did a fine job on your reporting of the meeting on Tuesday! It is REALLY appreciated by the MANY LAWFUL firearms owner in the Reading area when the new is unbiased. Both sides were left to be heard. McMahon is a slick coward of a politician, an un-American and should be thrown out of his office as should be Tom Caltigerone.
    He, McMahon intentionally left the meeting go on until the LAST seven minutes so that the Citizens of Reading had no time to effectively address the issues. Melissa, as a reporter, it is your duty to report the facts! You showed that your character is such that you intend on doing just that. Below I share some facts with you in hopes that you will report it to the Reading community. America is a Constitutional Republic, NOT a Democracy! The passing of UN-Constitutional Draconian Hitler style laws as was being suggested on Tuesday will NOT be tolerated by the informed firearms owning Citizen in Reading or nationwide for that matter. The American people are beginning to wake from there sleep to see these lies coming!
    Have you read the united States of America or even the Pennsylvania Constitution pertaining to the right of the Citizen lately?
    http://www.guncite.com/journals/dowdesp.html this is right on target!

    As you were informed Open carry (self defense) is lawful in Pennsylvania.

    See the following court cases:

    Sayres v. Commonwealth, Self-defense right protected, 88 Pa. 291 (1879)
    Commonwealth v. Hawkins, 692 A.2d 1068, n.4 (“In all parts of Pennsylvania, persons who are licensed may carry concealed firearms. 18 Pa.C.S. § 6108. Except in Philadelphia, firearms may be carried openly without a license. See Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 545 Pa. 279, 283, 681 A.2d 152, 155 (1996) (only in Philadelphia must a person obtain a license for carrying a firearm whether it is unconcealed or concealed; in other parts of the Commonwealth, unconcealed firearms do not require a license)”).

    Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 545 Pa. 279; 681 A.2d 152 (1996) (agreeing with appellant’s citation of the fact that "...in Philadelphia County, the legislature requires that a person must be licensed to carry weapons openly and not concealed from sight, whereas in all other counties of Pennsylvania, weapons may be carried openly without a license [, but holding that appellant’s argument that this fact then exempts Philadelphia from state preemption statute] is plainly without merit” [emphasis added]”).

    When we were discussing the forum, you seemed VERY interested in hearing both perspectives. Hopefully this was not a show.

    Melissa, you also seemed interested in learning how to be skilled at arms, so you too can handle a firearm safely. As a reporter, you can go to http://www.frontsight.com/news.asp and if you get in contact with the founder Ignatius Piazza, they will be glad to have you come to training specifically for those in the media. Your views that may be against firearms will likely change! The crime in Reading, Pennsylvania would DRASTICALLY drop if the Citizens were educated that a firearm in the hands of a trained citizen is good for the community and a BIG help for Law Enforcement. Hopefully you will dig deeper for the facts and see that an armed society is a polite society!

    If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

    -- James Madison The Federalist No. 51, at 349 (James Madison) (Jacob B. Cook ed., 1961).

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    FreeorDie wrote:
    Mike, you might enjoy the letter written to the news reporter that was there from a Citizen.

    __________________________________________________ __________________

    Greetings Melissa,
    MelissaBatulis@wfmz.com

    You did a fine job on your reporting of the meeting on Tuesday!
    What is the link to this news report?

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    Mike wrote:
    FreeorDie wrote:
    Mike, you might enjoy the letter written to the news reporter that was there from a Citizen.

    __________________________________________________ __________________

    Greetings Melissa,
    MelissaBatulis@wfmz.com

    You did a fine job on your reporting of the meeting on Tuesday!
    What is the link to this news report?
    WFMZ.com is a TV news station in the local and surrounding Reading, PA area.

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