Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 51

Thread: PA's lawful purpose defense to carying on K-12 school grounds may get a test soon!

  1. #1
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    http://www.dailyitem.com/0100_news/l...298080100.html


    Published October 24, 2008 08:01 am - A Watsontown auxiliary police officer is facing charges for allegedly bringing a loaded handgun to a youth football game at Mifflinburg Area High School last weekend.

    Police: Man had gun on school property
    He's a Watsontown auxiliary officer

    MIFFLINBURG -- A Watsontown auxiliary police officer is facing charges for allegedly bringing a loaded handgun to a youth football game at Mifflinburg Area High School last weekend.

    Clinton S. Mettler, 26, of Watsontown, allegedly had his registered Ruger semi-automatic handgun concealed while watching the midget football game Sunday in the bleachers, according to Mifflinburg police. When confronted by football league officials and asked to leave the school property, Mettler became "agitated and claimed he could be in possession of the handgun" because he was on duty 24 hours a day, officers said.

    Cpl. Wade Danley, of the Watsontown police, said the department's auxiliary police officers act almost like fire police, helping with parades and other functions, but have no arrest powers.

    "(Mettler's gun) is something he had personally," Danley said. "It has nothing to do with us."

    Mettler had a permit for the handgun issued by the Northumberland County Sheriff's Department and a Watsontown Police Department auxiliary police officer badge, Mifflinburg police said. They said he had a full magazine and an additional round chambered.

    Mettler was charged with possessing a weapon on school property. The gun and holster were confiscated.




  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in PA
    Posts
    159

    Post imported post

    Only if he pushes the issue instead of folding and pleading to the charge or something lower.

    If is handgun was concealed, how did he get approached and asked to leave?

  3. #3
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Post imported post

    Someone should contact him. I'm sure *someone*(hint) can set up a defense fund for the guy. I'm willing to donate for this cause.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  4. #4
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Nizzy EEzzy in da Pizzy
    Posts
    388

    Post imported post

    unfortunately, i don't see this ending well. he was asked to leave the property, which he should have done, by law. also, he's an auxiliary officer; they aren't issued weapons, so his "authority" is the same authority any private citizen has. and if a private citizen is asked to leave, they are compelled to. he should've invested in a better holster, or a baggier shirt.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  5. #5
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    unfortunately, i don't see this ending well. he was asked to leave the property, which he should have done, by law. also, he's an auxiliary officer; they aren't issued weapons, so his "authority" is the same authority any private citizen has. and if a private citizen is asked to leave, they are compelled to. he should've invested in a better holster, or a baggier shirt.
    well, he was not charged with tresspassing, and it is not clear how he could for obeying the law at a public place on government property held open generally to the public. I really see no significant difference between this case and the soccer mom facts, except for the fact that he now must plead his lawful purpose defense.

  6. #6
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Nizzy EEzzy in da Pizzy
    Posts
    388

    Post imported post

    Mike wrote:
    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    unfortunately, i don't see this ending well. he was asked to leave the property, which he should have done, by law. also, he's an auxiliary officer; they aren't issued weapons, so his "authority" is the same authority any private citizen has. and if a private citizen is asked to leave, they are compelled to. he should've invested in a better holster, or a baggier shirt.
    well, he was not charged with tresspassing, and it is not clear how he could for obeying the law at a public place on government property held open generally to the public. I really see no significant difference between this case and the soccer mom facts, except for the fact that he now must plead his lawful purpose defense.
    the emboldened portion may be what saves him. i personally avoid carrying onto school property, only because i don't have the money to argue that i should be able to.

    i'm not aware how school property laws work, so i'm not sure if they are open to the public as you've said. i know that in my area, the school has the right to deny entrance to anyone, like myself (long story, unrelated to firearms) for any reason. also, i know many schools have used their "zero tolerance" policy towards firearms to expel staff and students in the past; they might try and swing that in court with this fellow.


    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cherry Tree (Indiana County), Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,155

    Post imported post

    In all probability, the Section 912 "violation" willmost likelybe pled down to Defiant Trespass. Of course, being an Auxiliary Police Officer (didn't know they still had them) and using that as an excuse didn't help matters any.

  8. #8
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    unfortunately, i don't see this ending well. he was asked to leave the property, which he should have done, by law. also, he's an auxiliary officer; they aren't issued weapons, so his "authority" is the same authority any private citizen has. and if a private citizen is asked to leave, they are compelled to. he should've invested in a better holster, or a baggier shirt.
    well, he was not charged with tresspassing, and it is not clear how he could for obeying the law at a public place on government property held open generally to the public. I really see no significant difference between this case and the soccer mom facts, except for the fact that he now must plead his lawful purpose defense.
    the emboldened portion may be what saves him. i personally avoid carrying onto school property, only because i don't have the money to argue that i should be able to.

    i'm not aware how school property laws work, so i'm not sure if they are open to the public as you've said. i know that in my area, the school has the right to deny entrance to anyone, like myself (long story, unrelated to firearms) for any reason. also, i know many schools have used their "zero tolerance" policy towards firearms to expel staff and students in the past; they might try and swing that in court with this fellow.
    According to the news story, the open fields of a school were being used by a private midget football org - i don't think any "school official" was involved.

    I do not suggest anyone be the person to test the "lawful purposes" exception, but this guy might have to be the one. His alleged insistence that his reserve police status authorized him to carry was mistaken, and probably is why they charged him in the first place.

  9. #9
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Post imported post

    *someone*(hint hint) should contact him and tell him he actually has a leg to stand on.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  10. #10
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    insane.kangaroo wrote:
    *someone*(hint hint) should contact him and tell him he actually has a leg to stand on.
    Presumably that would be the guy's lawyer.

    it would be interesting if a case where a police officer mistakenly thought he was privleged to carry on school grounds actually proves that any of us can carry there

  11. #11
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Nizzy EEzzy in da Pizzy
    Posts
    388

    Post imported post

    Mike wrote:
    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    unfortunately, i don't see this ending well. he was asked to leave the property, which he should have done, by law. also, he's an auxiliary officer; they aren't issued weapons, so his "authority" is the same authority any private citizen has. and if a private citizen is asked to leave, they are compelled to. he should've invested in a better holster, or a baggier shirt.
    well, he was not charged with tresspassing, and it is not clear how he could for obeying the law at a public place on government property held open generally to the public. I really see no significant difference between this case and the soccer mom facts, except for the fact that he now must plead his lawful purpose defense.
    the emboldened portion may be what saves him. i personally avoid carrying onto school property, only because i don't have the money to argue that i should be able to.

    i'm not aware how school property laws work, so i'm not sure if they are open to the public as you've said. i know that in my area, the school has the right to deny entrance to anyone, like myself (long story, unrelated to firearms) for any reason. also, i know many schools have used their "zero tolerance" policy towards firearms to expel staff and students in the past; they might try and swing that in court with this fellow.
    According to the news story, the open fields of a school were being used by a private midget football org - i don't think any "school official" was involved.

    I do not suggest anyone be the person to test the "lawful purposes" exception, but this guy might have to be the one. His alleged insistence that his reserve police status authorized him to carry was mistaken, and probably is why they charged him in the first place.
    i don't think that the private use of school property will change things; if that was the case, then if a school used a public park for an activity, it would be off limits to the armed public. at least, that's where logic would lead. Hazle Township tried to bar the use of their park using this line of reasoning; "well, the schoolkids come here, so it's school property by proxy!" private use of school property doesn't make it private property by proxy.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  12. #12
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    unfortunately, i don't see this ending well. he was asked to leave the property, which he should have done, by law. also, he's an auxiliary officer; they aren't issued weapons, so his "authority" is the same authority any private citizen has. and if a private citizen is asked to leave, they are compelled to. he should've invested in a better holster, or a baggier shirt.
    well, he was not charged with tresspassing, and it is not clear how he could for obeying the law at a public place on government property held open generally to the public. I really see no significant difference between this case and the soccer mom facts, except for the fact that he now must plead his lawful purpose defense.
    the emboldened portion may be what saves him. i personally avoid carrying onto school property, only because i don't have the money to argue that i should be able to.

    i'm not aware how school property laws work, so i'm not sure if they are open to the public as you've said. i know that in my area, the school has the right to deny entrance to anyone, like myself (long story, unrelated to firearms) for any reason. also, i know many schools have used their "zero tolerance" policy towards firearms to expel staff and students in the past; they might try and swing that in court with this fellow.
    According to the news story, the open fields of a school were being used by a private midget football org - i don't think any "school official" was involved.

    I do not suggest anyone be the person to test the "lawful purposes" exception, but this guy might have to be the one. His alleged insistence that his reserve police status authorized him to carry was mistaken, and probably is why they charged him in the first place.
    i don't think that the private use of school property will change things; if that was the case, then if a school used a public park for an activity, it would be off limits to the armed public. at least, that's where logic would lead. Hazle Township tried to bar the use of their park using this line of reasoning; "well, the schoolkids come here, so it's school property by proxy!" private use of school property doesn't make it private property by proxy.
    I think you miss my point - the lawful purpose exception applies to K-12 school grounds 24/7 no matter what - if you came to a parent teacher conference carrying legally (openly or concealed with permit), the defense appears to apply so as to negate the gun ban. This is what made the hazle township position even nuttier.

  13. #13
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Post imported post

    Mike wrote:
    insane.kangaroo wrote:
    *someone*(hint hint) should contact him and tell him he actually has a leg to stand on.
    Presumably that would be the guy's lawyer.

    it would be interesting if a case where a police officer mistakenly thought he was privleged to carry on school grounds actually proves that any of us can carry there
    Unfortunately the defense lawyer might be a moron. i.e. the case where the constable from PA went to NY, got caught carrying concealed even though covered under LEOsa, lost his position as constable, and later on found out he was completely legal for reasons 1) NY recognizes constables as peace officers and 2) he was covered under LEOsa. The first defense lawyer the guy had was a fruit loop and was completely clueless. The second one knew what he was doing and had the charges dropped.

    So, my point is, someone should contact him and tell him to discuss the exception with a lawyer.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  14. #14
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Nizzy EEzzy in da Pizzy
    Posts
    388

    Post imported post

    Mike wrote:
    I think you miss my point - the lawful purpose exception applies to K-12 school grounds 24/7 no matter what - if you came to a parent teacher conference carrying legally (openly or concealed with permit), the defense appears to apply so as to negate the gun ban. This is what made the hazle township position even nuttier.
    no, no, i got your point; i just think the fact of private use of school property is irrelevant. i'm just still kind of "iffy" on the lawful purpose exception. i think it's worded a little too vaguely, to the point where a judge could interpret it the way he wanted to.

    that being said, i don't know of, and couldn't find, any case where someone was convicted of carrying on school property in PA, where that person was carrying legally.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cherry Tree (Indiana County), Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,155

    Post imported post

    Two things come into play here (really more, but):

    Didthe offense occur on school grounds? Section 912 states in the buildings of or on the grounds of. "School property" is a separate issue and is not the same as "on the grounds of."

    Section 912 also provides a defense for lawful carry.

    As stated previously, even my state representative's office could find no prosecutions for school carrying for LTCF holders anywhere in the Commonwealth.

    Does a County District Attorney really want to find out what "lawful purposes" means?

  16. #16
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Statkowski wrote:
    Two things come into play here (really more, but):

    Didthe offense occur on school grounds? Section 912 states in the buildings of or on the grounds of. "School property" is a separate issue and is not the same as "on the grounds of."

    Section 912 also provides a defense for lawful carry.

    As stated previously, even my state representative's office could find no prosecutions for school carrying for LTCF holders anywhere in the Commonwealth.

    Does a County District Attorney really want to find out what "lawful purposes" means?
    Right - and I have personally searched for and read all the Section 912 cases and only one even discussed the lawful purpose exception but avoided applying it choosing to duck the issue and find that the person did not have constructive possession in his vehicle (he gave handgun to girlfriend to hold) - interesting, authorities never went back and recharged the girlfriend!

    Reminds me of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men - see http://tinyurl.com/552voq


    Lawful purpose exception? You can't handle the Lawful Purpose Exception!

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in PA
    Posts
    159

    Post imported post

    I thought there was a female arrested and/or cited for something similar down by Philly last year. Wonder what her outcome was.

  18. #18
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Steve in PA wrote:
    I thought there was a female arrested and/or cited for something similar down by Philly last year. Wonder what her outcome was.
    Right - an elderly woman went to a PTA meeting or somthing and tried to check her gun at the office when she went in - the news story quietly "went away."

  19. #19
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    The discussion section for this article is working now.

  20. #20
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    142

    Post imported post

    I posted this at pafoa before when the topic came up a month or so ago....

    Years ago when the current police chief of Cleona was a Lebanon County detective there was a case where a man was carrying on school property. Now because it only went through the county court it wasn't enough to set precedent but I'm just saying.... here's what happened. He was called to the school because a guy was having lunch with his son. He was OCing with his colt revolver. The detective sits down next to the guy, puts his badge on the table and tells him he is going to have to leave. The guy tells him he is NOT leaving and does not have to because he has a license. The detective arrests him, they go to court and the judge throws it out and says he was allowed because he had his license. (LTCF mind you...not DL. LOL)

    My husband heard this story first hand from the chief who also teaches at the HAAC Lebanon Campus. They were talking about the law regarding carrying on school property and the guy told my husband "oh yeah, I lost a case years ago because of that..." and proceeded to tell him the story above.

    Regarding the current news story, I hope the guy fights it like hell and his charges are thrown out. I don't know the technical stuff about whatever kind of officer he is. I don't care to be honest. If he wasn't breaking any laws (don't see where he was....just seems he was carrying on school property and someone didn't like it *rolls eyes*) then it's high time this matter be pressed. If the charges stick it's just a case "against" us whether it has precedent or not. JMO of course. IANAL....

  21. #21
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    779

    Post imported post

    Heh, funny, I graduated from Mifflinburg Class of 89. I remember fellow students bringing shotties and rifles in their cars during hunting season. It was never an issue, just kids either just getting back from an early morning hunt, or going out right after school.
    Great school btw, at least back then it was.

    As far as the field being on school grounds, yes it is. The only thing separating the football field and the actual school building is part of the bus driveway that leads to the rear parking lot. Also, there was a chainlink fence around the field and a gate that was closed and locked during non-school hours (nights weekends etc) unless there was some school sponsored activity such as ball games, dances, etc. The property perimeter was marked with MAHS school property signs as well.

  22. #22
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    180

    Post imported post

    Sounds like a immature punk with ZERO judgment, that should have left when asked and saved himself a load of trouble. The auxiliary police is not a good place for this idiot. Since he was carrying concealed my guess he was purposely showing that he was armed, told someone or did something stupid.

    This is a lousy test case for anything EXCEPT what not to do in the Auxiliary police academy.

  23. #23
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cherry Tree (Indiana County), Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,155

    Post imported post

    Preliminary hearing scheduled for November 25th, 10:00 a.m., Magisterial District Court 17-3-02, charge is violation of Section 912.

    Court docket can be viewed here: http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketS...=CR-0000093-08



  24. #24
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Post imported post

    Hopefully the judge will recognize section (c) and throw out the case.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    246

    Post imported post

    insane.kangaroo wrote:
    Hopefully the judge will recognize section (c) and throw out the case.
    That will be a trial question. I would be VERY, VERY surprised for this to not easily breeze past the preliminary hearing and be scheduled for trial.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •