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Thread: Official Stupidity

  1. #1
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    Hey there everyone,



    I just thought that perhaps someone on here know's more about Pennsylvania's firearm's laws than the Pennsylvania State Police or Attorney General's office.



    I figured you might enjoy this one, A few week's back I called the PA State police all the way from here in ireland, told them i was visiting and wanted to know where in law it say i can OC my legally imported firearm, 76 minute's international call rates to PA should give the police the idea that I'm pretty serious about the call and not some gun nut asking dumb questions. At the end of the call they had no idea who I should talk to, they said Maybe the Attorney general could help, So I wrote to your AG office looking for an answer. here's the mail I sent, and here is their less than helpful answer.



    From:

    Email:
    General Questions : -- No Sections

    Dear Sir or Madam:
    Can you please advise me with whom I may make contact regarding information for possession and transportation of a firearm through your jurisdiction, On arriving in Pennsylvania in Pittsburg Airport I am obliged to travel to West Virginia for a Law Enforcemnt convention. As I would like to fully comply with local laws your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards

    And and here is their less than helpful answer.


    November 9, 2007


    Office of Attorney General

    15th Floor, Strawberry Square

    Harrisburg, PA 17120

    (717) 783-1111




    [size=]

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    [size=Dear Mr. *****][/size]

    [size=][/size]

    Your e-mail to the Attorney General has been referred to this office for reply.



    We suggest that you direct your inquiry to the Pennsylvania State Police at 717-783-5568 and/or our website: www.attorneygeneral.gov
    .



    We are making this referral based on the information provided in your e-mail. Please understand that it will be up to the agency officials to determine whether they can be of any assistance.

    [size=][/size]

    Sincerely yours,



    Robert A. Mulle

    Chief Deputy Attorney General

    Legal Review Section



    RAM:mlm

    [size=SR-02340-MXX3][/size]

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  2. #2
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    When it comes to law enforcement in Pennsylvania I can assure you ignorance abounds. You will also be better off researching the law (the actual text of the law) yourself and NOT asking ANY law enforcement officer for help regarding the law. ou will 9 out of ten times get an incorrect answer.



    That said, here is the best advice I can think of to give you.

    Read the "Uniform Firearms Act". It is the actual law that will cover most of what will concern your carrying or transporting a firearm in PA.
    http://www.frontlinearmory.com/misc/paoc/ufa.html#subchaptera


    Second, download the PA Gun Rights flyer, it is a good summary of the most common points of law. Much quicker read.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum61/3424.html

    Lastly, Welcome to OCDO and I hope you have a pleasant and uneventful trip through PA :celebrate

  3. #3
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    Perhaps... instead of calling the PSP, who employ civillian desk personnel to answer the phones, you call should have been placed to a lawyer? They are paid to interpet the laws, not the cops. Amazes me that, just because LEOs enforce the laws, people think we know everything about them, and all of them. Not the case. We know the laws we enforce on a daily basis, and the laws relating to criminal investigations we conduct. We don't know divorce laws, most fish and game laws (unless we hunt or fish), we don't know laws regarding civil violations and so on. Did you ever do research as to ALL the laws on the books? Even know how many laws there are in PA? Thousands. Here's a link to the books:

    http://www.pacode.com/secure/browse.asp Enjoy! Not to even mention how often those laws change. Not even lawyers know all the laws, that's why they have people to look them up for them. All the laws are on the books, and open to the public. Bottom line, if you want legal advice, consult a lawyer AND get it in writing.

  4. #4
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    grog18b wrote:
    Amazes me that, just because LEOs enforce the laws, people think we know everything about them, and all of them. Not the case.
    I don't think that any reasonable people think that LEOs in generalor PSP in particular know all the laws.

    It's a reasonable conclusion thatLEOsor PSP might know the answer to a questionthat a citizen migh have about the law.

    Of course, that doesn't mean it's necessarily negative when the LEO or PSP say "We don't know, it's kind of complicated."

    But sometimes they do know the legal answer and they should give it out if they do. They're supposed to serve and protect. Within reasonablebounds, of course.

    Beware the governmental organization and its representatives who have gotten to the stage of independence from its authority so that they blithely say:

    We can't answer any of your questions. Policy.

    We don't have to answer your questions.

    Next question.

    Have a nice day. [Click]

    Such governmental orgs have lost connection with their original authority.

  5. #5
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    grog18b wrote:
    ...Did you ever do research as to ALL the laws on the books? Even know how many laws there are in PA? Thousands. Here's a link to the books:
    Good advice, with the slight exxception of the above.
    Given that we have statewide preemption of firearms laws,
    Most of what anyone needs to know about GUN laws (LEO included) is in Title 18, Article G, Ch.61 Particularly Subchapter A [Uniform Firearms Act. ]

    It's a short read and very straight forward.
    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI...18/00.061..HTM


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    True, but that section would not have answered his question. The answer to his question can be found in section 21 of the Pa Constitution.

  7. #7
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    grog18b wrote:
    True, but that section would not have answered his question. The answer to his question can be found in section 21 of the Pa Constitution.
    Better to read the UFA and learn how and where you can't carry.

    If he gets stopped while OC'ing in a vehicle on his way through the commonwealth because sec.21 says he can, guess what is going to happen?


  8. #8
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    In PA, if it's in a vehicle, it's considered concealed. There is no "open carry" in a vehicle.

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    Some time ago I got a number for Attorney Generals office so i called them, I spent some time speaking with a man who identified himself as an attorney with the office of the district attorney, I asked him what the position was, his advice contact the State Police. I almost feel sorry for your guy's over there because the people who make the law's and are supposed to enforce them. They havent got a clue and they are about as useful as **** on a bull.

    When I told him, the State Police advise me to contact the District Attorney's office, he suggested I call the A.T.F, so I did.

    At least they gave me a straight answer and said it had nothing to do with them, and I might want to call the District Attorney;s office or the State Police ..

    Go Figure.

  10. #10
    Regular Member sccrref's Avatar
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    This was downloaded from packing dot org before they went away. Most of it is dated but it should give you a staring place to search the codes:

    Title 18 Section 913 Possession of firearm or other dangerous weapon in court facility.

    (a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he:

    1. knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a court facility or knowingly causes a firearm or other dangerous weapon to be present in a court facility; or

    2. knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a court facility with the intent that the firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime or knowingly causes a firearm or other dangerous weapon to be present in a court facility with the intent that the firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime.

    Title 18 § 912 Possession of weapon on school property.

    (a) Definition.--Notwithstanding the definition of "weapon" in section 907 (relating to possessing instruments of crime), "weapon" for purposes of this section shall include but not be limited to any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nun-chuck stick, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.

    (b) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses a weapon in the buildings of, on the grounds of, or in any conveyance providing transportation to or from any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school.

    (c) Defense.--It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.

    A poster on 5/17/03 posted a reply from the PA Attorney General. The AG would not answer his request for an answer to his questions on places off limits and CCW holders but did say that there were no rulings about PA Code 18-912 concerning Permit Holders and School Property. Use Caution.

    Car/Gun law summary

    Date updated: Aug 23, 2005 @ 9:06 pm

    Title 18 § 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.

    (a) Offense defined.--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.
    (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.

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

    1. Constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers.

    2. Members of the army, navy or marine corps of the United States or of the National Guard or organized reserves when on duty.

    3. The regularly enrolled members of any organization duly organized to purchase or receive such weapons from the United States or from this Commonwealth.

    4. Any persons engaged in target shooting with rifle, pistol, or revolver, if such persons are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practice and if, while going to or from their places of assembly or target practice, the cartridges or shells are carried in a separate container and the rifle, pistol or revolver is unloaded.

    5. Officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry a concealed firearm.

    6. Agents, messengers and other employees of common carriers, banks, or business firms, whose duties require them to protect moneys, valuables and other property in the discharge of such duties.

    7. Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person, having in his possession, using or carrying a firearm in the usual or ordinary course of such business.

    8. Any person while carrying a firearm unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair or back to his home or place of business, or in moving from one place of abode or business to another or from his home to a vacation or recreational home or dwelling or back, or to recover stolen property under section 6111.1(b)(4) (relating to Pennsylvania State Police) or to a location to which the person has been directed to surrender firearms under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) or back upon return of the surrendered firearm.

    9. Persons licensed to hunt, take fur bearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking fur bearers or fishing or are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take fur bearers or fish or returning from such places.

    10. Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually training dogs during the regular training season.

    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.

    Federal Law on the Transportation of Firearms. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 926A

    Must inform Law Enforcement when Carrying

    Date updated: Jul 28, 2005 @ 11:53 pm

    NO

    Carrying without a Permit/License

    Date updated: Aug 23, 2005 @ 9:07 pm

    Title 18 § 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.

    (a) Offense defined.--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.

    Peaceable journey law summary

    Date updated: Aug 23, 2005 @ 9:07 pm

    18 § 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.

    (a) Offense defined.--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.
    (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.

  11. #11
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    The original poster, a visitor from outside of Pennsylvania (Ireland), wanted to know what law stated whether or not he could Openly Carry his firearm while visiting our fair Commonwealth.

    Since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled in two cases that open carry is legal, and since the law itself is silent on the subject, there's nothing to stop anyone not prohibited from possessing a firearm (and that includes people from New Jersey) from openly carrying while in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    If it's not illegal, then it's legal.


  12. #12
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    irish_ironsight wrote:
    Some time ago I got a number for Attorney Generals office so i called them, I spent some time speaking with a man who identified himself as an attorney with the office of the district attorney, I asked him what the position was, his advice contact the State Police. I almost feel sorry for your guy's over there because the people who make the law's and are supposed to enforce them. They havent got a clue and they are about as useful as **** on a bull.

    When I told him, the State Police advise me to contact the District Attorney's office, he suggested I call the A.T.F, so I did.

    At least they gave me a straight answer and said it had nothing to do with them, and I might want to call the District Attorney;s office or the State Police ..

    Go Figure
    Sad, but true .....
    Here I thought I was the only person that felt this way....

  13. #13
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    FYI-- Neither the police, or the AG's office make any laws. Even though the police enforce the laws, and the PA State Police enforce ALL of the laws (Admin code 1929), this does (once again) not mean we know, or are capable of knowing ALL the laws on the books. Those laws might be very important to someone that has a question on them, but we, sincethey arerarely enforced, are not that familiar with them. In my 20+ years I have made less than 10 firearms related arrests, and normally those were in connection with other charges such as narcotics or DUI arrests. Only one (1) was on it's own, and that was a pagan that had a modified full auto M1 carbine at a bikers party years ago.

  14. #14
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    grog18b wrote:
    In PA, if it's in a vehicle, it's considered concealed. There is no "open carry" in a vehicle.
    THAT was exactly my point!

    That info is not in sec.21 It's in the UFA

  15. #15
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    FYI-- Neither the police, or the AG's office make any laws. Even though the police enforce the laws, and the PA State Police enforce ALL of the laws (Admin code 1929), this does (once again) not mean we know, or are capable of knowing ALL the laws on the books. Those laws might be very important to someone that has a question on them, but we, sincethey arerarely enforced, are not that familiar with them. In my 20+ years I have made less than 10 firearms related arrests, and normally those were in connection with other charges such as narcotics or DUI arrests. Only one (1) was on it's own, and that was a pagan that had a modified full auto M1 carbine at a bikers party years ago.
    Even the people that write the laws (legislature) will refer you to someone else for an interpretation of what it all means. In my years as a lowly civil servant I can recall such elected representativesasking me to explain the meaning of the laws that THEY authored. Talk about passing the buck.

    When laws become so complicated that no reasonable person can comprehend them, there might as well be no law. The constitution keeps it fairly simple with regards to rights that should not be "questioned" nor "infringed".

  16. #16
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    Exactly... Hopefully this Washington case will simplify things for all of us, and be pro "throwoutallthenonsenselaws" friendly.

  17. #17
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    It goes right to the top. Ever ask a politician/ what the meaning of 'is' is?

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