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Thread: OC (or CC) at the polls

  1. #1
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    A topic over on Glocktalk got me thinking about this. From my understanding of the 'firearm' laws there is nothing illegal about carrying at a polling location. Can someone confirm or deny this please? I understand that the location of the polls could be in a place that is off limits, but I'm wondering specifically about restrictions because of the polls. Thanks for any info.

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    Good question. I'm planning on OCing unlicensed to the polls.

    I'm led to believe that the only place that would be off-limits would be a court facility, if there even are any polling places in court facilities. There aren't any PA laws about OCing in places of worship, and going to vote I believe would most definately fall into "lawful purposes" for K-12 schools. The only issues I could think of would be regarding if the owner of (or an agent of) the structure asks you to leave because you're carrying... unless those areas would turn into a public area when it is a polling place.

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    Technically, as i read it, the law refers to possessing a gun for lawful purpose. A gun is not required for voting, so that wouldn't work.



    The good news is, self defense SHOULD be considered a "lawful purpose". So you should be covered that way.

    So be sure to keep us all updated on how your trial progresses.

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    DJ TURNz wrote:
    Technically, as i read it, the law refers to possessing a gun for lawful purpose.
    Penalty Flag! No citation to authority on the play.

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    Huh? What did I do?

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    Most of the polling places here in Delaware are at K-8 schools... I think the Safe School Zone act would prevent me from carrying there -- anyone happen to know if this is the case?

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    Mike wrote:
    DJ TURNz wrote:
    Technically, as i read it, the law refers to possessing a gun for lawful purpose.
    Penalty Flag! No citation to authority on the play.

    Defense.--It shall be a defense that the weapon is

    -60-

    possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised

    school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful

    purpose.

    If the first bolded part is meant to apply to an activity or course, the second bolded part still seems to mean that the gun is possessed for a lawful purpose. Voting, while legal, is not a lawful purpose to carry a gun. Self defense is, however the purpose to carry a gun, and self defense is lawful. I guess self defense is actually the defense for committing justifiable homicide.


    So what is the penalty flag thing about?

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    So what is the penalty flag thing about?
    Probably because you gave your interpretation but didn't cite the code to begin with so other people could analyze it.

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    Wow. Is that a rule? I understand the convenience of it, but I wasn't aware that it was a rule.

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    DJ TURNz wrote:
    Wow. Is that a rule? I understand the convenience of it, but I wasn't aware that it was a rule.
    The post was probably done in half-jest -- no need to think much more of it, but it's generally a good thing. When supplying information to other people about laws, instead of just giving your interpretation, if you give it WITH the actual statute, they can concur with that determination or draw a different conclusion themselves because they can potentially put themselves in a situation where they can be arrested.



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    I actually thought that everyone sort of had that one memorized, since it's usually one of the hotbeds for discussion.

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    Ok, well I won't be around again til' monday so I'll see if Mike responds again by then.

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    We just wanna be able to "back-up" leagel stuff Vs. personal opinion. We ALL wanna know the codes and status. It's one of those "invisible" rules

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    Ok well now this poor guys thread has veered off it's original intention. Does anyone have a comment about his question?

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    DJ TURNz wrote:
    Ok, well I won't be around again til' monday so I'll see if Mike responds again by then.
    Maybe the comment was pertaining to polling places onlyin K-12 schools?

    If so, a reference to this fact and cite to code on K-12 schools is appropriate; and warning that no court has ever ruled one way or the other on school carry in PA would be nice.

    I do not recommend carry in K-12 schools in PA under current state of the law, even when voting.

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    Wynder wrote:
    DJ TURNz wrote:
    Wow. Is that a rule? I understand the convenience of it, but I wasn't aware that it was a rule.
    The post was probably done in half-jest -- no need to think much more of it, but it's generally a good thing. When supplying information to other people about laws, instead of just giving your interpretation, if you give it WITH the actual statute, they can concur with that determination or draw a different conclusion themselves because they can potentially put themselves in a situation where they can be arrested.
    I haven't been around long enough to pull rank as an old timer, but I can say that it is an unwritten rule on OCDO.

    It saves a lot of discussion and even arguing. "The law says this!" "No, it doesn't!" That sort of thing.

    Citing the statute or case is theacceptedminimum.Providing a quote is even better. Providing a quote and a link to an internetsource for theCode or case is the best. Then everyone can read it for themselves and make their own judgement, and even verify the text.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    A thought I just had was that if one's polling place is a K-12 school (fortunately mine is a church social hall), it might not be worthwhile to OC for this reason: if you get detained by "L"EOs, even if you can prove to them that what you're doing isn't illegal, you may be detained past poll closing, and you'll be throwing away your vote for that election.

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    Concerning the carrying of a handgun, either openly or concealed, at a polling place, the law is silent on such. Ergo, ipso facto, etc., if it's not illegal then, by default, it's legal.

    Now, if the polling place is in a K-12 school facility, 18 Pa. C.S. 912(b) comes into play with illegalizes the carrying of firearms on school property. 18 Pa. C.S. 912(c) makes an exception for other lawful purposes. Since either open or concealed carry (with an LTCF) may well be argued to be for a lawful purpose, i.e., self-defense, this appears to be an exception. Supporting concealed carry is the License to Carry Firearms in which self-defense is specifically listed as a reason for issuance, hence a lawful purpose.

    I suppose there have been numerous cases of people getting cited for 18 Pa. C.S. 912(b) violations when they were openly carrying, but, according to my state representative (Sam Smith - Punxsutawney),there have been only two such cases where LTCFs were involved - Bolden v. Chartiers and Commonwealth v. Heidler, neither of which directly addressed the issue.

    I'm not an attorney, nor do I want to be one, but I do believe no district attorney wants to touch a 912(b) case if the bearer possesses an LTCF - too much of a chance of getting bitten hard by that pesky "other lawful purposes" clause.

    Bottom line (my opnion) - concealed means concealed, and open carry at a polling place held in a K-12 school is asking for trouble.

    No penalty flags on this one - applicable state law and court cases were listed.

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    Statkowski wrote:
    Concerning the carrying of a handgun, either openly or concealed, at a polling place, the law is silent on such. Ergo, ipso facto, etc., if it's not illegal then, by default, it's legal.

    Now, if the polling place is in a K-12 school facility, 18 Pa. C.S. 912(b) comes into play with illegalizes the carrying of firearms on school property. 18 Pa. C.S. 912(c) makes an exception for other lawful purposes. Since either open or concealed carry (with an LTCF) may well be argued to be for a lawful purpose, i.e., self-defense, this appears to be an exception. Supporting concealed carry is the License to Carry Firearms in which self-defense is specifically listed as a reason for issuance, hence a lawful purpose.

    I suppose there have been numerous cases of people getting cited for 18 Pa. C.S. 912(b) violations when they were openly carrying, but, according to my state representative (Sam Smith - Punxsutawney),there have been only two such cases where LTCFs were involved - Bolden v. Chartiers and Commonwealth v. Heidler, neither of which directly addressed the issue.

    I'm not an attorney, nor do I want to be one, but I do believe no district attorney wants to touch a 912(b) case if the bearer possesses an LTCF - too much of a chance of getting bitten hard by that pesky "other lawful purposes" clause.

    Bottom line (my opnion) - concealed means concealed, and open carry at a polling place held in a K-12 school is asking for trouble.

    No penalty flags on this one - applicable state law and court cases were listed.
    That was the verification I was looking for. As I first stated, that is how I understood the statutes. My polling place is NOT in a K-12 school therefore I now just need to decide if I want to carry and deal with the hassle of people in my small town talking about it. May have to print up some pamphlets from paopencarry.org to do some educating. Thank you all for the comments.

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