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Thread: Dickson City police report: "It sounds like a bad episode of Hogan's Heroes"

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    UPDATE: Video of Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kolcharno analyzingPennsylvania case law requiring handguns to be "registered to" open and concealed carriers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiROg...eature=related:shock:

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    http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site...0572&rfi=8

    Report shows confusion on gun dispute with police report

    BY CHARLES SCHILLINGER
    STAFF WRITER

    05/20/2008

    Police officers and prosecutors seemed either unfamiliar with the law or unprepared May 9 with how to handle a dozen customers at Old Country Buffet who were openly carrying guns, a Dickson City police report shows.

    Read the police report at http://scrantontimestribune.com/proj...licereport.pdf

    Police officers and prosecutors seemed either unfamiliar with the law or unprepared May 9 with how to handle a dozen customers at Old Country Buffet who were openly carrying guns, a Dickson City police report shows.

    But Assistant District Attorney Corey Kolcharno said he and police handled the situation as best they could given that one customer had not fully cooperated with police.

    That customer, Richard Banks, of Mountaintop, had his weapon confiscated for not carrying a concealed-weapons permit and was initially arrested for disorderly conduct and failure to carry a license for the weapon.

    Mr. Kolcharno said that might have been avoided had he known Mr. Banks was a federal firearms dealer, exempt from carrying a license for a concealed gun. No charges were filed against Mr. Banks.

    “It wasn’t a rash decision,” said Mr. Kolcharno, who initially approved charges. “We were cautious to protect the rights of both those openly carrying and those lawfully carrying a gun, but also the legitimate concern for those (at Old Country Buffet).”

    ‘Mistakes’ alleged

    An attorney representing Mr. Banks said law enforcement made “major mistakes” throughout the entire incident at the Dickson City restaurant.

    What attorney Brian Collins said he read in the report was police officers rounding up and grouping together customers. And members of the group — later referred to on gun-rights Web sites as the “Dickson Dozen” — were then asked to provide either concealed-weapons permits or, for those just openly carrying, identification.

    “It sounds like a bad ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ episode,” said Mr. Collins, of Allentown.

    Dickson City police officers Karen Gallagher and Anthony Mariano responded to the restaurant at 6:30 p.m. and talked with several customers who said they were frightened by customers who were openly armed. Police later followed up with witnesses, the report noted. One witness reported that one member of the group, when he noticed someone glancing at him, said: “Don’t worry, honey, you are in the safest place in Dickson City right now.”

    When police entered the restaurant, the report indicates the officers asked those with guns to step outside — including one man who had a handgun holstered at his side as he sat at a table feeding his baby.

    Taking numbers

    After establishing identification for all except Mr. Banks, police took their guns and wrote down serial numbers at the request of Police Chief William Stadnitski.

    Mr. Banks was the only one of the group who refused to provide police with any official identification, although he said he was carrying a concealed weapon. The incident report indicated he was willing to verbally identify himself.

    Police said they found Mr. Banks’ concealed 9mm “was not registered.” The report said Mr. Kolcharno advised police to “take the weapon due to it not being registered.”

    Mr. Collins claims police should not have confiscated Mr. Banks’ weapon.

    “The misnomer is a firearm must be ‘registered’ in your name in Pennsylvania. It’s a misstatement of the law. There is no firearm registry in Pennsylvania,” Mr. Collins said.

    Although there is no gun registration system in the state, police can verify information about the gun through a state police database of gun sales and other databases, such as one for concealed-weapons licenses.

    Mr. Kolcharno said officers told him the gun was not in a concealed-weapons license database. And he said that when he told police to confiscate the weapon, they had not yet learned Mr. Banks was a federal firearms dealer.

    “I concur with that,” he said about there being no gun registry in Pennsylvania. “But licensure (for a concealed gun) — that is a whole different realm.”

    He added he was not on the scene and could only operate with the information officers were giving him.

    “I felt at that point, looking at the case law and consulting with other attorneys, that they should confiscate the weapon,” Mr. Kolcharno said.

    Mr. Collins said Mr. Banks has not been given his gun back. Police have said he can pick it up at any time. Mr. Banks had told police he would file a lawsuit if his weapon was taken, according to the report, but Mr. Collins said he couldn’t comment on whether that will happen.

    Although Mr. Kolcharno said another matter had been resolved amicably, Mr. Collins said police mishandled another of the Dickson Dozen, Roger McCarren, when, according to the police report, they found his gun was “registered” to his wife, Darcie McCarren.

    The report indicates Mrs. McCarren said she gave the gun to him as a gift, but police would turn the gun over only to her. Mrs. McCarren accepted the gun, and the dispute ended there, the report indicated.

    Jon Mirowitz, a state gun-law lecturer with the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the legal education arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, also said there is no registration. And he added that guns may be given as gifts between spouses, children and grandchildren.

    “I don’t know what police are looking at, but it’s not registration,” Mr. Mirowitz said about the police report citing gun registration. “They (police) may not know what they’re looking at either.”

    Mr. Collins argued the police had no reason to compel anyone in the group at the restaurant to give either identification or concealed-weapons permits, because no law requires it.

    “To my knowledge, it’s not illegal to feed your baby ... and that’s not suspicious, either,” he said.

    He said there is no problem with police investigating a complaint.

    “But these people were orderly. They weren’t holding people up. Some people provided identification. Mr. Banks, knowing the law, didn’t,” Mr. Collins said. “Police detained him nonetheless ... and had him for an hour in a police car in front of his family. That was a major mistake.”

    --

    Analysis by Mike:

    Thankfully the Dickson Dozen were good guys - had they been bad guys, all evidence would have been suppressed based upon the unlawful searches and unlawful demands for ID.

    Based only upon the facts as stated in the report, the police misconduct is obvious. (1) Detaining and searching people without reasonable suspicion of any crime, and further ordering a woman to turn off her cam corder. (2) Demanding ID from open carriers upon penalty of arrest. (3) Covering up their botched arrest of Rich Banks by pretending they never saw his license to carry firearms and only let him go on his word that he is a federal firearms dealer and thus exempt from licensure. This is plainly wrong - FFLs are only exempt from license for concealed carry when doing business - not at a buffet with family. (4) Seizing guns from Mr. Banks and Roger Mccarren because they were not "registered" to him. The police refusal to return Banks and Mccarren's guns to them is a flagrant abuse of power.

    Sheesh! Did the police & ADA not get the memo? Rep. Cruz's 2007 bill, HB 760, to establish gun registration in PA, was dead on arrival!

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    Additionally it is full of lies.

    They claim I was not licencensed. I did have my LTCF and disclosed at time of arrest.

    Additionally, they did not know I was an FFL until AFTER I was released... About the same time I was putting my LTCF (hint hint) back into my wallet.

    I am SHOCKED at the amount of lies and intentionally missing info in this police report.

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    Video link is of someone's toddler "dancing" to a Hogan's Heroes episode intro.

    Is there an actualYouTube link to Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kolcharno analyzing Pennsylvania case law?

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    Statkowski wrote:
    Video link is of someone's toddler "dancing" to a Hogan's Heroes episode intro.

    Is there an actualYouTube link to Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kolcharno analyzing Pennsylvania case law?
    No - it's humor.

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    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the disorder conduct "threat". They were advised not to charge with disorderly conduct, how about they were advised they "could not" charge? Well they could, but it would just place them in even more rights violations.

    I'm so tired of hearing about disorder conduct when nothing illegal is being done.

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    If that police report weren't true, it would be hilarious.

    :?

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    The only thing that remains is filing suit against the cops, their chief, the department and the town. There could be some serious punitive damages in this case and these stupid a-hole cops need to have their faces rubbed in it.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    If that police report weren't true, it would be hilarious.

    :?
    Most of it ISN'T true, and it's STILL funny!

    That female cop is going to have an all new appreciation for the plight of the homeless...
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    Deanimator wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    If that police report weren't true, it would be hilarious.

    :?
    Most of it ISN'T true, and it's STILL funny!

    That female cop is going to have an all new appreciation for the plight of the homeless...
    I heard the ADA might be looking for a job at Micky Dees!

    With his skills it'll be the fryer!

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    I doubt that he has the skill set to properly work the fryer. Most likely he will be the dolt that picks up the trash and wipes off the tables.

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    sccrref wrote:
    I doubt that he has the skill set to properly work the fryer. Most likely he will be the dolt that picks up the trash and wipes off the tables.
    Nah, he's more like the elderly guy working at a local MacDonalds who first gave me crap about my NRA cap, then noted that he didn't think that the Holocaust was such a bad thing.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    "Although there is no gun registration system in the state, police can verify information about the gun through a state police database of gun sales and other databases, such as one for concealed-weapons licenses."

    isn't this line sort of like saying there is no database on gun owners but there is.

    and where the hell did I see on my LTCF what gun I had to carry?

    yeeeeash


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    The Pa. S. Ct. said that the record of transfer database is a "non-ownership-registry." Allegheny County Sportsmen's League v. Rendell, 860 A.2d 10,22, n.7 (Pa. 2004).

    But it's been 4 years since Allegheny County Sportsmen's League v. Rendell - why are Lackawanna County ADA Kolcharno and Dickson City Police Chief Stadnitskistill unaware that the record of sale database does not establish or record the ownership of handguns and further, that the Pa. S. Ct. said that "the applications/records of sale cannot be used to establish a registry of firearm ownership, i.e., a registry that tracks individuals who have possession and control over firearms." Allegheny County Sportsmen's League v. Rendell, 860 A.2d 10, 23(Pa. 2004) (emphasis added).

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    tdyoung58, and mike, you are both right.

    I think it's because no one that they (theofficers, chief,ADA)care about (not citizens), or respect (certainly not the Constitution or the law), or they feel subordinate to (insert your own)hasbeen able to rid the legal system of thugs and criminals that wear badges, impersonate district attorneys, andabuse judicial robes and courts while perverting the spirit of law.

    Friends, friends, why all this fuss? Yes, we took your home from you, but now we give you free "housing". Yes, we took all of your possessions, but now we give you free "food" and "clothing", free "dental" care, free "haircuts", free "water", free "medical" services, and "jobs" to keep you "busy and happy" and "feeling productive". We've placed guards around the perimeter for your "protection". We have even prepared for your future, yes,when you have been gassed uh..., ahem, when you have "passed on" we will take"care" of your remains. Now, when we are ata time when we needto takeadvantage of available government resources andtry to "elevate" you to a more fitting position, all you can say is "Please don't hang me!"???

    Well Sgt. Shultz, I've hadjust about enough of these ingrates, sometimes I don't know what ever possessed me to join the "SS". Lets drive over to Dachau for some schnapps with the Commandant.

    :what:


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