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Thread: Jacked up in 30th St. Station - Phila.

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    Writing this on the bench at 30th st. as I wait for my train.

    Unpleasant OC encounter today coming from the Philly airport.
    no issues in the airport - or waiting for the train.
    A conductor took exception to the 1911 and wanted me to decock or conceal.
    I told him no and offered him a brochure. He declined. I got on train. ANother conductor stoped by and asked me if he could have a copy of the brochure - I gladly gave him one. He was interested in his firearm rights.

    There were 3 Amtrak PD waiting for me at 30th St. They told me that the conductor reported a man with a gun on the train and that they neded to investigate.

    We stayed on the platform.

    Sgt. Cameron did most of the talking. Officers Gillii and Zwantz were there.
    They told me that 30th street station (Septa) was their jurisdiction and that no openly carried firearms are allowed and that no one is allowed to have a firearm on a SEPTA train except for police. I asked him for a law citation.

    For "my safety", they removed the 1911 and my J frame. Since this is Philly, and you need a LTCF to open carry - I provided my LTCF and drivers license. They wanted to know where I was going and where I was coming from. I declined to provide andwers without an attorney.

    He said that I thought that I knew more about his job than him. I said that I appreciated the difficult job that he has and that I am only informed as to my rights.

    They called my LTCF in to the Delaware County found out that it was valid and told me that the Sheriff's office said that it was for concealed carry,
    The Sgt tried to make it an issue that it was a Delaware County LTCF and not a Philly one. I don't think he ever saw a LTCF before. I told him that it was statewide. They told me that carrying openly was making a scene and wanted to know if I was on any drugs. I said no.

    The Sgt kept telling me that I can't carry openly and that if I come back here I will be arrested for disturbing the peace. He was not interested in Commonwealth vs Hawkins or any statute - his miond was made up.

    They asked if these firearms were registered to me. They were surprised when I said that there is no registration of firearms in PA - but that they could check the PSP's "sales database' if they wanted. They did not run the serial numbers of the firearms.

    They reported my being stopped as an issue to the Delaware County Sheriff and said that the Sheriff may want to revoke my permit. The Sgt. said that I had to have the firearm unloaded or be on the way to a range or a place of purchase.

    After they made a few phone calls they decided I was not wanted for anything and then Officer Zwantz gave me back my unloaded J frame - I reloaded it and put it back in my pocket. The Sgt. gave me back my loaded 1911. I put it back in my holster. They did practice food muzzle and trigger discipline in transferring the firearms. The Sgt. told me to put it in my bag. I declined. They told me to put it where it could not be seen. I took out my spare pocket holster and put the 1911 in my pocket.

    The Sgt continued to tell me his opinion on why open carry is not a good thing.
    I asked where I needed to send my letter regarding the encounter to and he provided me th aname of Capt. Maureen Powers.

    Oh - and tey made me miss my train.....

    Only thing I forgot to do was ask if I was being detained. Once they had the 1911 - I wasn't going anywhere without it.

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    The only question I have is... how did you keep yourself from laughing at them?



    Seriously, though, it seems like you handled it very well. Onward with the education!

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    lprgcFrank wrote:
    Only thing I forgot to do was ask if I was being detained. Once they had the 1911 - I wasn't going anywhere without it.
    They would have told you that you were in fact being detained, for suspicion of disturbing the peace and unlawful carry of a weapon. If you tried quoting applicable case law at that point you would not have gotten any further with them than you did. They didn't end up arresting you, so the inconvenience of missing a train is your only damage from their unlawful activity. I would not sue, but definitely file that report; that's where you cite applicable case law.

    AmTrak stationsare federal property(unless the line is shared with state or private services such as local transit authorities), so any possible state law that would place it off limits doessn't apply and there is no applicable federal law as the station is not secured like an airport. If you can carry that firearm legally in the state of PAthen you broke no law.

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    I was on the SEPTA platform - not anywhere near the Amtrak lines - definitely covered by PA law and not in a dedicated Amtrak location

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    Here is my first cut at the main points in the letter to the Amtrak PD - I welcome your thoughts and comments.

    The flyer and the training memo are the ones PA Patriot put together - my recollections are already posted here....




    1) I was going about my business and legally open carrying a firearm in Philadelphia (Ref: 18 PACS §6108) as I rode a R1 SEPTA train from the Airport to 30th Street Station where I would transfer to the R5 SEPTA train.
    2) Sgt. Cameron and Officers Gillii and Zwantz responded to a man with a gun report from SEPTA
    3) The officers approached me and I complied with their request to provide my valid License to Carry Firearms issued by the Sheriff of Delaware County;
    4) The officers removed my firearms, for their safety
    5) The officers determined that I had a valid LTCF and the open carrying of a firearm was legal
    6) Based on my notes from the encounter as detailed in the attachment, the Sgt. and the officers are either uninformed or misinformed as to the firearms laws of the State of Pennsylvania in particular that Pennsylvania has a LTCF – not a concealed carry permit. That the LTCF is statewide. And that the reason on the LTCF has no bearing on the validity of the LTCF. Cities, towns and municipalities are also prohibited by PA law from enacting laws prohibiting concealed or open carry. Ref: 18 PACS §6106
    7) Sgt. Cameron exceeded his authority and threatened me with a future arrest for disturbing the peace should I open carry in an Amtrak jurisdiction again. There is no disturbing the peace law in Pennsylvania. The Sgt. may have been thinking of Disorderly Conduct, but in that case, open carry of a firearm, in a holster, lacking any other threatening behavior by the person carrying, does not meet the statutory conditions of disorderly conduct. Ref: §5503.
    8) Sgt. Cameron told me he will report this to the Delaware County Sheriff and that he might revoke my LTCF. There is no stipulation in law that a LTCF holder must carry concealed and that lawful open carry of a firearm is NOT grounds for revocation of a LTCF.
    9) Attached is a training memo that several law enforcement departments in the State of Pennsylvania have used to educate their officers on firearms laws and in particular open carrying of firearms. I have also attached the Pennsylvania Gun Rights flyer that outlines the law.
    10) I demand that the Amtrak Police that work in Philadelphia be appropriately trained on the Pennsylvania law so that myself and other law abiding citizens that carry firearms, either openly or concealed, do not have a repeat of this type of encounter. I further demand that Sgt. Cameron apologize for threatening me with an arrest for legal activity.
    11) I look forward to your response as to how and when you will provide this training to your officers. Absent a response from you, I will follow up within 2 weeks.
    12) As my travels require, I will be transiting through 30th St. Station and since I routinely openly carry a firearm, I expect that there will not be a repeat of this unacceptable behavior or I will take appropriate legal action.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    You should direct this to SEPTA PD, not Amtrak.

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    Lonnie Wilson wrote:
    You should direct this to SEPTA PD, not Amtrak.
    They were Amtrak PD not Septa PD

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    Might not hurt to copy SEPTA PD as well as copies to SEPTA and AMTRAK General Counsel.

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    good idea on cc'ing Septa PD and the general counsel;s of Amtrak and SEPTA.

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    Liko81 wrote:
    lprgcFrank wrote:
    Only thing I forgot to do was ask if I was being detained. Once they had the 1911 - I wasn't going anywhere without it.
    They would have told you that you were in fact being detained, for suspicion of disturbing the peace and unlawful carry of a weapon. If you tried quoting applicable case law at that point you would not have gotten any further with them than you did. They didn't end up arresting you, so the inconvenience of missing a train is your only damage from their unlawful activity. I would not sue, but definitely file that report; that's where you cite applicable case law.

    AmTrak stationsare federal property (unless the line is shared with state or private services such as local transit authorities), so any possible state law that would place it off limits doessn't apply and there is no applicable federal law as the station is not secured like an airport. If you can carry that firearm legally in the state of PAthen you broke no law.
    Amtrak may be owned by the federal govt, but if it's located in the state of PA, doesn't that mean PA law is supreme.

    I know the rule about federal buildings, but is an Amtrak station a federal building?

    What about post offices?

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    The building is owned by Amtrak - but it is not a federal building

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    According to Wikipedia:

    Amtrak Police


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    The Amtrak Police is a railroad police agency that acts as the security and law enforcement agency of Amtrak, a passenger train system in the United States. The Amtrak Police has 342 sworn police officers, most of whom are stationed within the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak's busiest route.

    This agency is responsible for the security of the 300 trains per day over some 22,000+ miles of rail with approximately 540 Stations in 46 states. They have accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

    Amtrak Police share jurisdiction with the FBI on investigating offenses committed on the Amtrak system.

    Amtrak Police officers are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center [1]

    edit] News
    On February 19, 2008, Amtrak announced new security procedures and a new "Mobile Security Team" will have units deployed nationwide. 2
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    This would actually be a wonderful legal case Federal Agents violating civil rights guaranteed by state and federal law. Hmmmmm

    The good thing about this case is that the AMTRAK Police are Federal, so you can use the Federal FOIA to get the information out of them about the incident. (I read that PA FOIA laws are not very good for obtaining information)
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Glad it turned out mostly to the good for you, you did miss the train and all...

    Hopefully the officers and better educated now and that the letters you send don't fall on deaf ears.

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    They'll get better educated after they get the letter from my lawyer

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    Here's the letter to Amtrak - please excuse the minor formatting issues

    LAW OFFICES
    VANGROSSI & RECCHUITI
    319 SWEDE STREET
    NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA 19401-4801
    TELEPHONE (610) 279-4200
    FAX (610)
    279-4306
    July 9, 2008
    Captain Maureen Powers Amtrak Police
    30th Street Station 2955 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    RE: LPRGCFRANK. Incident: 07/02/08
    Dear Captain Powers:
    Please be advised that the undersigned represents LPRGCFRANK who was involved in an incident with a number of your officers on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. LPRGCFRANK had taken the 12:11 R1 train from the C/D Terminal at the Philadelphia Airport to 30th Street Station.

    As is his legal right and custom, he was openly carrying his firearm in a holster on his right hip. Since he is licensed to carry firearms by the Sheriff of Delaware County, he is legally allowed to carry the firearm open in any legal activity in the City and County of Philadelphia pursuant to 18 Pa. C.S. Section 6108.

    Evidently, a conductor initially attempted to prevent
    LPRGCFRANK from entering the train at the airport as the conductor did not appear to appreciate LPRGCFRANK's carrying of the firearm. The conductor requested that LPRGCFRANK either unload or decock his 1911 firearm. Understandably, LPRGCFRANK declined this unreasonable request as it would have made the firearm useless and would have also created an unsafe condition.

    When LPRGCFRANK arrived at 30th Street Station, he was met by three Amtrak police officers, Sgt. Cameron, Officer Gilli and Officer Zwantz. Sgt. Cameron advised LPRGCFRANK that a conductor had reported a man with a gun on the train and that they were investigating the report. LPRGCFRANK willingly went with the officers to the other side of the platform.

    Sgt. Cameron explained to LPRGCFRANK that for the officers' safety, they were going to disarm LPRGCFRANK even though he was cooperating. LPRGCFRANK, out of concern for everyone's safety, questioned Sgt. Cameron to be sure that Sgt. Cameron knew how to safely handle and unload a 1911 pistol. Sgt. Cameron advised
    that he was familiar with same, drew LPRGCFRANK's 1911 from his holster and placed it in his own pocket. The Sergeant then asked LPRGCFRANK if he had any other firearms and LPRGCFRANK advised that of course he did and that he was carrying a J-frame revolver in his left pocket. The Sergeant then drew the revolver from LPRGCFRANK's pocket with LPRGCFRANK's permission and handed it to Officer Zwantz who emptied the cylinder of the rounds and put the rounds and the firearm in his own pocket. LPRGCFRANK indicated that he had no other firearms.

    Sgt. Cameron informed LPRGCFRANK that 30th Street Station is exclusively the domain of Amtrak and that no openly carried firearms are allowed and that nobody is allowed to have a firearm on a Septa train except for the police.

    LPRGCFRANK, correctly disagreed as he has a valid license to carry a firearm and is permitted to openly carry a firearm and is permitted to openly carry a firearm in Philadelphia. LPRGCFRANK provided his license to carry firearm issued by the Sheriff of Delaware County and his Pennsylvania driver's license to Officer Zwantz. LPRGCFRANK offered to provide the phone number of Patrick Link, Esquire, an Assistant District Attorney for the
    Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force so that the officers could verify that he was within his rights. Sgt. Cameron declined.

    Sgt. Cameron insisted that he was correct and that nobody but police could carry a firearm at 30th Street Station or on a Septa train although he could not cite any statute or code, since there are not any that allow Septa or Amtrak police to make their own rules.

    Officer Zwantz demanded to know where LPRGCFRANK was going and LPRGCFRANK replied that he was going home. The officers continued to question LPRGCFRANK who at this point decided he was going to answer no more questions, especially after Sgt. Cameron accused LPRGCFRANK of making a scene and Officer Zwantz asked LPRGCFRANK if he was on drugs.

    Officer Zwantz contacted the Delaware County Sheriff's Office who he said advised him that the license to carry was valid (which it is) and tried to tell LPRGCFRANK that the gun must be concealed (which it does not).
    Sgt. Cameron then attempted to inform LPRGCFRANK that the license to carry firearms was somehow invalid as it was only for target shooting and therefore the firearm had to be unloaded or LPRGCFRANK had to be on his way to or from a range. This is not correct.

    Upon further review of LPRGCFRANK's license, Sgt. Cameron wanted to know if LPRGCFRANK had a Philadelphia license and LPRGCFRANK had to explain to the sergeant that a license to carry firearms is good any where in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    Sgt. Cameron also informed my client that he cannot carry openly or concealed on Amtrak, a fact of which my client is aware. That is why he does not ride Amtrak.
    Sgt. Cameron then threatened my client with arrest for "disturbing the peace" if he carries openly at 30th Street Station again. As I am sure that you are aware, there is no such crime in Pennsylvania and I suspect the sergeant was threatening my client with an arrest for Disorderly Conduct. In addition, Sgt. Cameron has threatened to contact the Delaware County Sheriff in an effort to have my client's license to carry firearms revoked.

    Apparently, after finally determining that my client was breaking no laws, Officer Zwantz returned my client's unloaded revolver to him at which time my client reloaded same and put it back into his pocket. The Sergeant also returned my client's loaded 1911 to him and my client then put it back in his holster.
    Sgt. Cameron demanded that my client put the 1911 in his bag and LPRGCFRANK refused. He then demanded that the gun be placed where it could not be seen and my client ceded to the Sergeant's demands, took out his spare pocket holster and put the 1911 in his pocket.

    Sgt. Cameron provided your name so that we could contact you.
    It is our belief that Sgt. Cameron and the officers are either uninformed or misinformed as to the firearm laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Specifically, they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide. Moreover, cities, towns and municipalities are prohibited from enacting laws prohibiting concealed or open carry or any other firearm laws pursuant to the Pennsylvania Preemption Statute.

    Sgt. Cameron clearly exceeded his authority by threatening my client with future arrest for "disturbing the peace" should he openly carry in an Amtrak jurisdiction again. As I explained earlier, there is no such offense in Pennsylvania but rather we
    believe that the Sergeant was threatening my client with an arrest for disorderly conduct but as I am sure that you are aware, open carry of a firearm, in a holster does not meet any of the statutory definitions of disorderly conduct. See 18 Pa. C.S. Section 5503 and Commonwealth vs. Hawkins, 692 A.2d. 1068, n4 (1996).

    Sgt. Cameron's threat to contact the Delaware County Sheriff to attempt to have my client's license to carry firearms revoked is also inappropriate in that there is no requirement in Pennsylvania state law that a firearm be carried concealed.

    I am enclosing for your perusal a training memo that several law enforcement departments in the Commonwealth have used to educate their officers on firearm laws and in particular open carry of firearms. I am also enclosing a Pennsylvania Gun Rights flyer that also outlines the law.

    We expect that Amtrak police that work in Philadelphia be appropriately trained on Pennsylvania law so that LPRGCFRANK and other law abiding citizens that carry firearms either openly or concealed, do not have a repeat of this type of encounter. We further expect that Sgt. Cameron apologize for threatening arrest despite my client engaging in no illegal activity.

    I look forward to your response as to how and when you will provide this training as my client travels often and will continue to be passing through 30th Street Station routinely openly carrying a firearm. LPRGCFRANK does not want a repeat of this oppressive behavior by Amtrak police.

    I look forward to hearing from you promptly.

    MICHAEL P. GOTTLIEB
    MPG/jcz
    Enc.
    cc: Patrick Link, Esquire, Assistant District Attorney

    Sheriff Joseph F. McGinn
    Chief R. Evans, SEPTA Transit Police
    Nicholas J. Staffieri, Esquire
    Eleanor D. Acheson, Esquire
    LPRGCFRANK



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    Way to go!

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    "Specifically, they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide"

    Huh? I thought the following were true:

    - There is no such thing as a license to carry firearms in PA

    - There is the LTCF which is only required for concealed carry or any type of carry in the city of Philadelphia.

    I think they need to work on the wording of that sentence.

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    georgedonnelly wrote:
    "Specifically, they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide"

    Huh? I thought the following were true:

    - There is no such thing as a license to carry firearms in PA

    - There is the LTCF which is only required for concealed carry or any type of carry in the city of Philadelphia.

    I think they need to work on the wording of that sentence.
    The LTCF stands for License to Carry Firearms

    30th St. Station is within the City of Philadelphia so I needed the LTCF.

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    lprgcFrank wrote:
    georgedonnelly wrote:
    "Specifically, they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide"

    Huh? I thought the following were true:

    - There is no such thing as a license to carry firearms in PA

    - There is the LTCF which is only required for concealed carry or any type of carry in the city of Philadelphia.

    I think they need to work on the wording of that sentence.
    The LTCF stands for License to Carry Firearms

    30th St. Station is within the City of Philadelphia so I needed the LTCF.
    Yes I understand that but even so that sentence says an LTCF is not a concealed carry permit. But it is. IOW, an LTCF allows you to carry your firearm concealed in PA.

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    lprgcFrank wrote:
    The Sergeant then asked LPRGCFRANK if he had any other firearms and LPRGCFRANK advised that of course he did and that he was carrying a J-frame revolver in his left pocket.
    So my kind of guy. Way to go.

  23. #23
    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    georgedonnelly wrote:
    lprgcFrank wrote:
    georgedonnelly wrote:
    "Specifically, they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide"

    Huh? I thought the following were true:

    - There is no such thing as a license to carry firearms in PA

    - There is the LTCF which is only required for concealed carry or any type of carry in the city of Philadelphia.

    I think they need to work on the wording of that sentence.
    The LTCF stands for License to Carry Firearms

    30th St. Station is within the City of Philadelphia so I needed the LTCF.
    Yes I understand that but even so that sentence says an LTCF is not a concealed carry permit. But it is. IOW, an LTCF allows you to carry your firearm concealed in PA.
    George - sorry I'm dense - I reread the sentence and now I get your point. This could have been written more clearly to make the point that the LTCF does not require concealed carry.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    ScottNH wrote:
    lprgcFrank wrote:
    The Sergeant then asked LPRGCFRANK if he had any other firearms and LPRGCFRANK advised that of course he did and that he was carrying a J-frame revolver in his left pocket.
    So my kind of guy. Way to go.
    +1 - my favorite sentence

    My second favorite:
    "...they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide."

    Why is that a favorite? Well let's parse it down and get rid of the extraneous:

    "...they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms ... is a license to carry firearms..."

    :celebrate

    If it were a concealed only permit I think they might have put the word "concealed" somewhere in it's title.

    "I meant what I said and said what I meant, an elephant faithful one hundred percent" - Horton


    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    deepdiver wrote:
    ScottNH wrote:
    lprgcFrank wrote:
    The Sergeant then asked LPRGCFRANK if he had any other firearms and LPRGCFRANK advised that of course he did and that he was carrying a J-frame revolver in his left pocket.
    So my kind of guy. Way to go.
    +1 - my favorite sentence

    My second favorite:
    "...they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide."

    Why is that a favorite? Well let's parse it down and get rid of the extraneous:

    "...they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms ... is a license to carry firearms..."

    :celebrate

    If it were a concealed only permit I think they might have put the word "concealed" somewhere in it's title.

    "I meant what I said and said what I meant, an elephant faithful one hundred percent" - Horton

    And yet LTCF __IS__ a concealed-only permit, outside of cities of the first class (Philly only).

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