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Thread: PA Judge does smackdown of Sheriff's action revoking carry permit for mere open carry while voting!

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    Let's keep track of news stories and court docs (TBP) here:

    Video reports:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVPkV1Mzpxo

    http://your4state.com/media_player.php?media_id=13952

    Print reports:

    http://your4state.com/content/fulltext/?cid=14872,

    http://www.whtm.com/news/stories/0108/486252.html

    http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=d...mp;format=html (see embedded video)

    http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_7912802

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22562090

    New Articles UPDATE 9 JAN 08:

    http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_7917373

    Judge returns man's permit to carry a concealed weapon



    Returned: Greg Rotz of Chambersburg displays his gun permit (Public Opinion/Markell DeLoatch)

    Greg Rotz, a Chambersburg man who wore his handgun to a polling place on Election Day, got his gun permit back Tuesday in Franklin County Court.
    "The court finds he did not violate any law," President Judge John R. Walker said. "His permit should be returned to him as soon as possible."
    In front of the judge, county sheriff's solicitor Patrick Redding took Rotz's permit to carry a concealed weapon from the file and handed it to Rotz's attorney Steve Rice, who presented it to Rotz. Nearly all of the 60 people in the courtroom applauded.
    Minutes later Rotz retrieved his handgun from a nearby vehicle and wore it at his side as his supporters applauded outside the courthouse. Some came from five hours away. Many carried their firearms openly, as permitted by Pennsylvania law.
    Sheriff Dane Anthony said about 25 people checked their guns with his office as they walked into the courthouse.

    "There were no problems. There were no questions," Anthony said. "Everyone was cooperative."
    Gun rights advocates had discussed Rotz's plight on several Internet forums and raised about $3,000 toward Rotz's legal fees.
    In November, then-Sheriff Robert Wollyung revoked Rotz's permit to carry a concealed weapon after Rotz wore it openly to the New Franklin polling place on Nov. 6. Rotz exchanged words with Constable Gerald Speilman.
    The constable had asked Rotz to secure the gun in his vehicle and Rotz would not. Rotz appealed the revocation.
    "I understand
    not everyone agrees with me philosophically," Rotz said after the hearing. "But when you're in law enforcement, you can't use your office to impose personal opinion. I expected to prevail, but I know there are no guarantees."
    Because Walker ruled without taking testimony, the law was clear on the issue, Rotz said.

    Walker made his ruling after meeting with the two attorneys for about 15 minutes "to save a long hearing." The entire hearing lasted a half hour.
    Walker said that if someone is convicted of a crime, his or her license should be revoked. That was not the case here.
    "Why are we wasting time? Order in the court," Walker said, both sentences in the same breath.
    Walker said people cannot take firearms into schools or a courthouse, then asked the attorneys if they had found any laws prohibiting guns in a polling place.
    "I have found absolutely nothing saying you can't carry a firearm into a polling place," Redding said.

    Walker said Rotz did not need a permit to open carry, but he would "personally contact" his legislator about firearms in polling places.
    "If we have people walking around polling places with guns, it starts looking like a Third World country, Venezuela or something," Walker said.
    The remark did not sit well with Rotz supporters after the hearing.
    "I don't agree with the idea," said Tom Rowe, a Rotz supporter from McKees Rocks. "I agree with the process."
    Those attending, however, were impressed with Walker's no-nonsense command from the bench. They came down strongly on the side of Walker's decision to return Rotz's permit:
    - "I think that's the decision that should have been made from the start," said Sam Myers of Newville.

    - "It's a win-win for everybody, especially law-abiding gun owners in Pennsylvania," said Douglas Boldt, an Erie man and vice president of the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association. "We are pleased with the judicial decision."
    - "The young man had his license to carry revoked for one man's opinion and not the law," said Jinks Heistand of Cumberland County. "We're a land of laws. We're looking for sheriffs and police officers who know the laws and enforce them. We want people to understand the law, enforce the law and not their opinions. That's a perfect world."
    - "It gives us clarification on how a sheriff can revoke a concealed permit," said Rob Conrad of West Scranton.
    - "(Rotz) should have been cited if something was wrong, not have his license revoked," said Ted Hughes of West Pittston. "A lot of Pennsylvanians have to stand together to do this and protect our rights."
    - "I want to see what laws were broken," Bill Shriver of Chambersburg said before the decision. "I don't understand why we're here."
    - "It's a shame we live in a free society and elected officers are willing to trample out rights," said Theodore Deardroff of Shippensburg.
    - "I find it complete insanity that Greg was doing something completely legal and they revoked his right to carry," Rowe said.

    - "(Rotz) was wrongfully accused of an act which most people don't realize is perfectly legal," said Aaron Cool of Waynesboro. "There's a lot of misinformation floating around."
    - "The poor guy (Rotz) was doing what he was able to do," said Dan Dorman of Greencastle, who openly carried his weapon Tuesday in support of Rotz. "The Second Amendment is the only one that guarantees the others."
    ----------
    Jim Hook can be reached at 262-4759 or jhook@publicopinionnews.com.





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    http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_7912802
    ETA: Nevermind... I see mike added this above

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    Well, he had his opportunity when there were open carriers right out side the court room. I think he blinked.

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    Great news! But watch out PA members, I think you about to have another fight on your hands- fighting for the right to carry at polling places. Howdid you like those comments; "we'd become a third world county", "you just shouldn't carry some places." That is a scary mentality to have!

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    The current sheriff makes it quite clear he'll arrest anyone doing that in the future.
    No he did not - in court the Sheriff's lawyer promised the judge that nothing like what happenned to Rotz would happen under the new Sheriff's administration.

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    Current sheriff Dane Anthony says "even if you're allowed to take your weapon into a particular building, sometimes it's just not necessary." Now, for the benefit of the younger rookies out there, this is how LEO's convey a threat of future arrest. What he's tellling everyone who's listening, he's going to concoct some OTHER charge to base the arrest on. Been there, done that, got a bail receipt to prove it.
    He's entitled to his opinion.

    BUT as Mike pointed out. In court, during session, the DA stated for the record that the new sheriff did not agree with the action and that such improper and random acts of revocation would NOT occur under his administration.

    Enough said.



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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    Current sheriff Dane Anthony says "even if you're allowed to take your weapon into a particular building, sometimes it's just not necessary." Now, for the benefit of the younger rookies out there, this is how LEO's convey a threat of future arrest. What he's tellling everyone who's listening, he's going to concoct some OTHER charge to base the arrest on. Been there, done that, got a bail receipt to prove it.
    He's entitled to his opinion.

    BUT as Mike pointed out. In court, during session, the DA stated for the record that the new sheriff did not agree with the action and that such improper and random acts of revocation would NOT occur under his administration.

    Enough said.

    I also don't see the new sheriff as being the bad guy. He has clearly stated he will follow the law. What more would one want?

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    [Grinning like a school boy raiding the cookie jar.]

    That is super news.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


    Support the 2A in California - Shop Amazon for any item and up to 15% of all purchases go back to the Calguns Foundation. Enter through either of the following links
    www.calgunsfoundation.org/amazon
    www.shop42a.com

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    dngreer wrote:
    ........fighting for the right to carry at polling places. Howdid you like those comments; "we'd become a third world county", "you just shouldn't carry some places." ...............
    In third world countries it'sagents of the governmentthat carry weapons in the polling places, not the citizens.

    Citizen carryin polling places prevents us from becoming a banana republic.

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    "If we have people walking around polling places with guns, it starts looking like a Third World country, Venezuela or something," Walker said. The remark did not sit well with Rotz supporters after the hearing.

    "I don't agree with the idea," said Tom Rowe, a Rotz supporter from McKees Rocks. "I agree with the process."
    Dang reporters, is it me or does it sound like I'm saying that I don't agree with carrying in a polling place?

    This is why I hate the media half the time.

    I don't agree with the idea of having polling places limited, I do agree with the judge contacting his legislator if he wants because that's the propper process.

    Good thing I avoided most, shoulda thought to say no-comment or something.

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    Most third world countries I have been in don't have to worry about guns in the polling places...WHY...???

    THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE...

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    Lthrnck wrote:
    Most third world countries I have been in don't have to worry about guns in the polling places...WHY...???

    THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE...
    Or if they are allowed to vote the firearms are possesed not by the citizenree but the government.

    Having the right to keep and bare arms is what keeps us from being like a third world country.


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    "I don't agree with the idea of having polling places limited, I do agree with the judge contacting his legislator if he wants because that's the propper process."

    I disagree that mere legislation will be the proper process. When talking about infringing on the right to vote and the right to bear arms this will require constitutional amendments.

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    From calguns on this subject. Any thoughts?

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...ad.php?t=81672


    ...But the judge still wants to contact his legislators to pass a law against carry in a polling place.
    So, he upholds the law; but asks to have it changed? Well as a citizen that's his right, and that's better at least than having him rule against the man (and against the law) simply to satisfy his own personal opinion of how the law should be...
    The problem is that he made this statement while sitting on the bench wearing his official robes. This means that he said this in his official capacity as a judge. Which is against the rules of professional conduct in EVERY state.

    The judge should be reported to his state judicial council and reprimanded.

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    cato wrote:
    From calguns on this subject. Any thoughts?

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...ad.php?t=81672


    ...But the judge still wants to contact his legislators to pass a law against carry in a polling place.
    So, he upholds the law; but asks to have it changed? Well as a citizen that's his right, and that's better at least than having him rule against the man (and against the law) simply to satisfy his own personal opinion of how the law should be...
    The problem is that he made this statement while sitting on the bench wearing his official robes. This means that he said this in his official capacity as a judge. Which is against the rules of professional conduct in EVERY state.

    The judge should be reported to his state judicial council and reprimanded.
    I'm not going to make a no-cross posting rule - but anotherproblem with cross posting is that I can't throw a penalty flag at the OCDO poster!

    What rule of professional conduct "in every state" precludes the Judges statement that he might contact his legislator to change a statute? In fact, if anyone can find the rule even in the ABA's Model Rules, I'll buy you lunch.

    Judges enforce laws all the time while saying or writing that they think the law is misguided or words to that effect.

    I think the judges statement that he thinks PA law should be chnaged was GREAT! He is highlighting that even judges don't get to make up their own statutes, let alone small town Sheriffs or Constables.

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    Mike wrote:
    I think the judges statement that he thinks PA law should be chnaged was GREAT! He is highlighting that even judges don't get to make up their own statutes, let alone small town Sheriffs or Constables.

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    Mike wrote:
    ...but anotherproblem with cross posting is that I can't throw a penalty flag at the OCDO poster!
    Thats funny!I'll go throw,"via proxy", apenalty flag over there warning himthat he may bebanned from even openingan account here if he does it again.

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    CCinPA wrote:
    Having the right to keep and bare arms is what keeps us from being like a third world country.
    I don't know if that's a typo or intentional, but it's great.

    I think OCDO's new motto should be, "Exercising the right to keep and bare arms"

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    Just thought I'd pop in to say that I'm thrilled with Greg's victory as well as the responses I've been seeing in the "comments" section here...
    http://www.topix.net/forum/source/ch...I6/p6#lastPost

    I've posted several comments there that I'm quite proud of.
    Anyone who knows me from the PAFOA.org forum knows that most of my posts are a humorous mix of "smart-ass" and "agitator", with a pinch of useful info.

    There are some subjects though, that demand serious thought, and discussion.

    Thanks again to everyone who showed their support to Mr. Rotz.
    By doing so, you showed support for ALL of us.






    Hey, looky! You guys have that dancing bananna thingy!
    :celebrate
    Woo-Hoo! I'll have to come here more often!
    (Ahhhh... that feels better!)



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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    CCinPA wrote:
    Having the right to keep and bare arms is what keeps us from being like a third world country.
    I don't know if that's a typo or intentional, but it's great.

    I think OCDO's new motto should be, "Exercising the right to keep and bare arms"
    Crap that was a typo and I am just seeing it today.

    Any way if you want to have bare arms that is fine also.




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    Thanks for the fight Greg ! Congratulations on your victory, God bless you for not compromising.

    I'm bothered greatly by the new Sheriffs comments.

    It might be legal BUT.......

    What crap, the law is the law.

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    Is a civil suit against the old sheriff going to be filed under a 1983 action?

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    Shawn wrote:
    Is a civil suit against the old sheriff going to be filed under a 1983 action?
    Nice idea,worth a shot!

    Seriously, best congratulations to Greg, who has flown the flag in an uncompromising manner for all law-abiding gun-owners, and to all of the men who supported him so stoutly!

    MY HAT IS OFF THIS DAY TO THE PENNSYLVANIANS, AND THEIR SUPPORTERS!

    TrueBrit.

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    Hey Emptymag nice to see you here come stay awhile.These guys girls and others,are a good bunch i dont post a lot on either forum,but i read it all . Nice to share in a win doesent it. Mtn Jack

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