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Thread: News Article on Greg Rotz' hearing (Tuesday 8 JAN in Chambersberg, PA)

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    UPDATE BY MIKE:

    OK folks - I plan to attend. Anyone want a ride from Norther Va. with me?

    Who plans on coming to this hearing?

    It would be nice to pack the hearing room and just see how many gun lockers the Sheriff has ready

    --

    Hearing Details:

    Tuesday, January 8th. 2:00 pm.
    Franklin County Court Administration
    157 Lincoln Way E
    Chambersburg, PA 17201

    Courtroom 1
    (717) 261-3848
    Presiding Judge: John R. Walker


    And from http://www.pafoa.org/forum/concealed...roll-call.html

    Prior Meeting Location:
    New Texas Lunch Restaurant
    108 Lincoln Way W
    (717) 264-4439


    Post-Hearing Meal:
    Hoss's Steakhouse
    1740 Lincoln Way East
    (717) 263-0264


    ----

    Back to original post:

    I added one highlight....the words make me wonder if the sheriff is anti-gun for non-LEO.

    Chambersburg hearing on man's permit
    By JIM HOOK Senior writer


    More than a dozen supporters of gun rights are expected to attend a Franklin County Court hearing on Tuesday when President Judge John R. Walker will hear arguments on whether a Chambersburg man should get back his permit to carry a concealed firearm.

    Many of Greg Rotz' supporters are expected to be packing handguns in plain view, just as they do every day.

    Pennsylvania law allows citizens to wear guns in the open without a permit.

    Weapons, however, are not allowed in courts. Courthouse visitors must empty their pockets and pass through a metal detector. Security officers also X-ray briefcases. They keep the knives and other questionable items that people bring with them.

    Franklin County Sheriff Robert Wollyung said he has instructed his officers to tell gun-toting visitors to park their weapons in their vehicles or to surrender them.

    Wollyung revoked Rotz' concealed weapon permit after an incident at the New Franklin voting precinct on Election Day (Nov. 6). A state constable challenged Rotz who was wearing a handgun in a holster at his side. The constable cautioned Rotz to leave the gun in his vehicle. Rotz asserted his right to open carry.

    The case has aroused open-carry advocates, who have donated nearly $3,000 toward Rotz' legal fees. His situation is a discussion topic on at least 13 different Internet bulletin boards. The original posting of his case on the Pennsylvania Firearm Association's Web site (http://www.pafoa.org) garnered nearly 700 replies and 42,000 views. At least 15 people from across Pennsylvania plan to attend the hearing,
    according to Rotz. "I think it's amazing," Rotz said.

    "Gun owners may attend the hearing because the stakes are so high for all gun owners, particularly any who want to carry their gun concealed or in a vehicle in Pennsylvania," said Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder of OpenCarry.org. "The hearing is a de novo review of the sheriff's action, not just a review of his action for some sort of extreme abuse of discretion. The sheriff is not supposed to have discretion in the
    first place."

    Two states require no permit to carry a concealed firearm. Of the 48 states requiring a permit to carry, 37 are "shall issue" states -- meaning that the licenses are like driver's licenses -- if you qualify for one, you get one, Stollenwerk said.

    "If the United States heads backwards on 'shall issue,' this will be a huge setback for gun rights," Stollenwerk said. In 1986, there were only eight "shall issue" states.

    The sheriff

    Wollyung will not be sheriff at the time of the hearing, which falls on the second day of Sheriff-elect Dane Anthony's administration.

    Anthony, a former deputy sheriff, said he isn't sure if the sheriff's office has enough gun cabinets for all the weaponry that may show up in the courthouse lobby.

    "I haven't been in the office for five years," Anthony said. "We'll either turn them away or take their weapons from them."

    Wollyung said Rotz could avoid a hearing by applying for a permit from Anthony.

    "The law requires a one-year waiting period after a denial or revocation has occurred," Rotz said. "Dropping the appeal would amount to conceding the revocation and prevent me from immediately applying for a new license to carry a concealed firearm."

    But Rotz and Anthony had not spoken as of Thursday evening.

    "I am taking the action I took to undo a wrong," Rotz said. "The revocation was not valid in my opinion, and I'm fighting to have it voided."

    It's only the second time the 36-year-old Rotz has been to court. The first time was to complain about a neighbor's barking dog, he said. Rotz and his son discussed the court case and the 11-year old is asking his school to excuse him for an educational day to attend the proceedings.

    Anthony said he has talked about the case with his administration's solicitor, Pat Redding.

    "We were hoping it would be worked out by the 8th," Anthony said.

    The sheriff is not required to be represented at the hearing, according to Wollyung.

    Permits

    A citizen can carry a gun at his or her side while walking down the street in Pennsylvania, but he or she needs a concealed weapon permit to get into a vehicle with the weapon. Pennsylvania law considers a handgun in a vehicle to be a concealed weapon.

    The county sheriff issues concealed weapon permits, and has the authority to revoke a permit for the same reasons he would deny one.

    The Franklin County Sheriff's office issues almost 2,000 permits to carry concealed weapons each year, according to Wollyung. The permit fee is $30. A person must be at least 18 years old. Nearly 8,000 people in Franklin County have the five-year permit.

    When a person applies for a permit, the sheriff's office has 45 days in which to conduct an investigation, including a check of criminal, military and mental health databases.

    Ten states allow guns to be carried openly on foot and in vehicles, according to OpenCarry.org, which tracks state laws about carrying weapons and hosts discussion groups on the topic. Six states severely restrict open carry. Pennsylvania and the other states fall in the middle.

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's office did not return a reporter's telephone calls inquiring about places where open carry is prohibited in Pennsylvania.

    The case

    Wollyung has said that the court will probably rule against him.

    If Rotz did not violate the letter of the law at the polling place, he violated the spirit of the law on two points -- harassment and disorderly conduct, Wollyung said.

    Rotz said he has done nothing wrong.

    "Let's review the facts: The sheriff revoked Rotz' license to carry a concealed weapon because Rotz legally open carried while voting, but for some reason irritated an elected constable," Stollenwerk said. "A good analogy would be the Department of Motor Vehicles revoking Rotz' driver's license, which allows the holder to drive a motor vehicle on public roads, because Rotz legally walked across a street inside a crosswalk, but irritated an elected constable who was driving on that road."

    Franklin County District Attorney John Nelson said it's "pretty apparent" when a weapon is used in a threatening fashion.

    "I don't have anything in this fight," Nelson said. "This scenario is
    something new, and I haven't been called upon to address whether that's a violation of any criminal statute. If it's legal and not specifically prohibited, even though it may make some people uncomfortable, it's hard to argue that it's a criminal violation."

    The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday in Courtroom One on the third floor of the county courthouse. Entrance is from the courthouse annex on Lincoln Way East.


    Carrying a weapon

    Many people such as Greg Rotz want to carry a handgun for self-protection.

    "I think perhaps I'm taking more seriously my responsibility for myself and my family," Rotz said.

    In May, Rotz got a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The sheriff revoked the permit in November, and Rotz is in court to get it back. The responsibility of carrying a gun may one day come down to a decision about using deadly force.

    "You are justified in the use of deadly force in protecting yourself or another if you reasonably believe someone is placing you in danger of death or serious bodily injury," Franklin County District Attorney John Nelson said. "It has to be a reasonable belief. You have the duty to retreat if you can do so in safety. You are not required to retreat from your residence."

    At the same time, people who carry guns also carry a greater burden should they intimidate another person.

    For a person found guilty of terrorist threats, the sentencing guidelines are stiffer if the person visibly possessed a weapon at the time he or she made the threat, Nelson said.


  2. #2
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    "We'll either turn them away or take their weapons from them."
    Meaning they'll secure the "weapons" as required by law, nothing more, nothing less. Poor choice of words, but that's not prosecutable, yet.

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    Statkowski wrote:
    "We'll either turn them away or take their weapons from them."
    Meaning they'll secure the "weapons" as required by law, nothing more, nothing less. Poor choice of words, but that's not prosecutable, yet.
    Sometimes there is meaning in the slips. If nothing further happens...fine, but he still should be watched.

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    The story wrote:
    The Franklin County Sheriff's office issues almost 2,000 permits to carry concealed weapons each year, according to Wollyung. The permit fee is $30. A person must be at least 18 years old. Nearly 8,000 people in Franklin County have the five-year permit.
    :what:

    In that case, I'll apply for a LTCF while I'm there!

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    OK folks - I plan to attend. Anyone want a ride from Norther Va. with me?

    Who plans on coming to this hearing?

    It would be nice to pack the hearing room and just see how many gun lockers the Sheriff has ready

    --

    Hearing Details:

    Tuesday, January 8th. 2:00 pm.
    Franklin County Court Administration
    157 Lincoln Way E
    Chambersburg, PA 17201

    Courtroom 1
    (717) 261-3848
    Presiding Judge: John R. Walker


    And from http://www.pafoa.org/forum/concealed...roll-call.html

    Prior Meeting Location:
    New Texas Lunch Restaurant
    108 Lincoln Way W
    (717) 264-4439


    Post-Hearing Meal:
    Hoss's Steakhouse
    1740 Lincoln Way East
    (717) 263-0264

    ROLL CALL
    Joe Smith (Allegheny)
    Skuggi (Allegheny)*
    Lildobie (Allegheny)*
    P-11 Shooter (Butler)
    Mtbkski (Cambria)
    Carnes (Cambria)*
    Fireguy15 (Cumberland)
    Boomer (Cumberland)
    Chesire17201 (Franklin)
    QuincyTwpConstable (Franklin)
    Imperialism2024 (Lehigh)*
    CCinPA (Luzerne)
    Pa. Patriot (Luzerne)*
    bige64 (Washington)
    RWhiteman (Westmoreland)*

    HOPEFULLY ATTENDING
    Jared McLaughlin (Allegheny)
    DragonofPA (Delaware)
    Cheesybacon (Franklin)
    Punisher (Lancaster)
    Chazman321 (Lawrence)



  6. #6
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    Looking forward to meeting you in person, Mike.

    For others who may be interested, here is a link to the online comments about the article.

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    "Let's review the facts: The sheriff revoked Rotz' license to carry a concealed weapon because Rotz legally open carried while voting, but for some reason irritated an elected constable," Stollenwerk said. "A good analogy would be the Department of Motor Vehicles revoking Rotz' driver's license, which allows the holder to drive a motor vehicle on public roads, because Rotz legally walked across a street inside a crosswalk, but irritated an elected constable who was driving on that road."
    Now, let's review the law:

    http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Constitution.html


    Article 1
    DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
    That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and unalterably established, WE DECLARE THAT -
    Inherent Rights of Mankind
    Section 1.
    All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.

    Political Powers
    Section 2.
    All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.

    Elections
    Section 5.
    Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.

    Right to Bear Arms
    Section 21.
    The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.


    Article VII
    ELECTIONS

    Electors Privileged from Arrest
    Section 5.Electors shall in all cases except treason, felony and breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance on elections and in going to and returning therefrom.






    I think the Supreme Law of Pennsylvania is very clear in this matter.


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    Maybe sticky this thread instead, as it has the details of the gathering? http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum46/7219.html



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    :XI swindled and squirmed and bargined every effort I had but today I received my final no on getting off to attend. My best wishes go to Greg, good luck and I hope everyone has great posts and stories to tell about the whole ordeal. And most importantly I hope Greg wins!!!

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    WhiteFeather wrote:
    :XI swindled and squirmed and bargined every effort I had but today I received my final no on getting off to attend. My best wishes go to Greg, good luck and I hope everyone has great posts and stories to tell about the whole ordeal. And most importantly I hope Greg wins!!!
    Well... what if you start to feel sick?

  11. #11
    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    Congrats! Greg!

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    Mike wrote:
    OK folks - I plan to attend.* Anyone want a ride from Norther Va. with me?
    Saw your interview on the Harrisburg ABC affiliate, Mike.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVPkV1Mzpxo

    Good job, Hoya Saxa!

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    Well, long day!

    Couldn't have been any better though ... IMO


    We had a great time, we had a great ruling and we squashed some of the fears of the Chambersburg critics that were unhapyy about "all the gun toters coming to try and turn Chambersburg in to the wild west"..
    .
    .
    .
    Oh, and did ya hear?...... Greg got his permit back! On the spot!

    I'm going to post more later, I have a bunch of catching up to do.
    Just watched the videos.... They showed my "I support Greg Rotz" badge and my G23 on Ch 25 and they had my ugly GORILLA mug on the Ch27 . I'm the guy that was edited down to "the law is the law. People like us that carry carry everywhere. polling place, grocery store.. :CUT::
    Argh! Oh well, I has some good comments and commentary in that interview (several minutes) and they snipped it down to like 4 seconds of less than earth moving comments - LOL!

    Oh well, I'll just try and hog the camera away from Doug a little more next time.

    Seriously. The day turned out better than anyone anticipated.
    Kudos to everyone coming out and setting a stellar example on behalf of PAFOA and gun owners/carriers.
    Kudos to the Franklin CO Sheriff's dept, the duputies, guards and Sheriff Anthony.
    Kudos to the media.
    Kudos to the Texas lunch staff and Hoss's. After our post-game get together Greg, CCinPA, and I spoke with the manager in Hoss's on the way out to thank him for the hospitality and he said he was happy to have us and to come back any time.
    Kudos to President John R. Walker !!!


    Most of all, Kudos to Greg. He was the perfect example of how to handle this type of situation, from start to finish. He did a great thing on ALL of OUR behalfs today.

    Thank you, Greg. We appreciate it

    ----
    Best regards,
    Pa. Patriot

    Founder: http://www.paopencarry.org
    Want to make a statement about gun rights? Open Carry!
    Want to protect those rights?Visit penncdl.org
    danbus wrote: ...Like I said before, I open carry because you don't, I fight for all my rights because you won't, I will not sit with my thumb up my bum and complain, because you will.


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    I was there - an awsome event!

    Proud to be an American I am.

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