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Thread: Lock Haven: Man objects to local gun ban; is ordinance illegal?

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    http://www.lockhaven.com/page/conten...id/517812.html

    Man objects to local gun ban; is ordinance illegal? By WENDY STIVER - wstiver@lockhaven.com POSTED: April 27, 2010

    LOCK HAVEN - "I was out with my kids at the park and I was armed and I had to turn around and leave because I didn't want to have a hassle."
    So said a city man of local ordinances that prohibit carrying firearms in recreational areas.
    Timothy L. Havener said he was referring to a sign at Mill Hall Community Park, but he has seen similar ones other places, including in the city. They prompted him to write to City Council. He also plans to bring up the matter with Mill Hall Borough, he said.
    Havener, the father of Anna and Katie, ages 3 and 4, said he moved here two weeks ago from Ebensburg, after his wife took a job here.
    Previously, he had taken Ebensburg Borough to task for a similar ban on carrying guns in parks and won, according to a March 28 article in The Tribune Democrat.
    "I'm into Second Amendment rights," he said. "I always carry for self-defense purposes, to protect me and my family."
    This means he carries his "standard Glock side-arm" even while grocery shopping, he said.
    Havener had other signatures on his letter to the city: from Angelo V. Davis of Lock Haven and from Charles W. Walizer, Charles W. Walizer II and Steve A. Eoute, all of Mill Hall. They got together , Havener said, after he posted a statement on a forum through the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association.
    He expects to have supporters with him at the Mill Hall council meeting at 7:30 tonight, he said, and at City Council's next meeting at 7 p.m. May 3.
    Council received a copy of his letter at the work session Monday, but he did not attend.
    The city's ordinance, in Chapter 16, states:
    "(No person on the levee shall): carry or discharge any firearms, slingshots, firecrackers, fireworks or other missiles propelling instruments or explosives, or arrows or other dangerous weapons which have such properties as to cause annoyance or injury to any person or property, unless permission has been granted by the City in designated areas; law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties shall be exempt from these provisions."
    It also refers to a ban on hunting on the levee and states, "... it is unlawful for any person to carry onto or possess on the levee system a rifle or pistol or firearm of any make or kind..."
    However, the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act states: "No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of the commonwealth."
    But, is carrying a gun in a public park really what the lawmakers had in mind?
    "It's a personal right and it's a decision I've made to protect my family," Havener said. "People say, 'Why do you need a gun at a playground?' Well, why do you need a gun anywhere? If you decide to carry for self-defense, where don't you need it?"
    He said he has read statistics that there are more deaths from playground equipment than children killed by guns every year.
    "There are more accidental deaths in homes through people who aren't properly educated about firearm safety," he added.
    He asked how he would defend himself if a criminal chooses to use a gun on the playground.
    Havener said he spoke with City Manager Richard W. Marcinkevage, who objected to the idea of taking a gun to an event such as a youth ball game, for instance.
    Havener said he has heard the argument that passionate adults at a game could get into an argument and the presence of guns could escalate it to a dangerous level. He disagrees with that premise, he said.
    "You don't have anything to fear from a person who is carrying a gun until they act in a criminal manner," he said, "and until that happens, you should be glad you have the right to carry and defend yourself and prevent a person from harming another."
    Lock Haven and Mill Hall aren't the only communities with seemingly illegal gun bans on the books. Havener also pointed to Westmoreland County near Pittsburgh which looked at the same issue earlier this month.
    "It's common," he said. "There is a lack of understanding of the state law."
    The letter to the city states, "As individuals that enjoy the right to carry as provided for in our state laws we find ourselves in a position where we feel obligated to disclose this information to our local government officials and ask that they rewrite the ordinances in question so that they comply with state mandates... Inaction on this matter could lead to the unfortunate circumstance of someone being unlawfully arrested for legally carrying a firearm as permitted and protected by state law and result in costly lawsuits..."
    Havener said he does not lightly dismiss the passionate feelings others have against guns in public places.
    "People do have real concern about this issue," he said. "I disagree with the root of their concern. I don't think it's rational."
    He said they are reacting to such incidents as school shootings being "blown up by the media."
    He's bringing the issue to light, he said, in an attempt to discuss it and possibly change a few minds.
    "To me, it's an issue of essential liberty," he said. "It's a right ... and you have it inherently."
    Openly carrying a gun is "an expression of your freedom," he added.
    "Think in your head if one person, one teacher, had been able to have a firearm in Columbine and had the training and certification to defend his students. How many people could have been saved?" he asked.
    "There will always be criminals," he said. "You don't want to feel like you need to carry a gun but there are always going to be criminal elements out there... and to deny that is to live in a dream world."
    Marcinkevage said, "I could see someone feeling it could be appropriate to take a weapon to Zindel Park in the watershed where there could be snakes, but I can't see anyone feeling they need a weapon at a Little League game at Hoberman Park or Hammermill Park."
    He added, "Whether they have the right to do it or not is a different question."


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    The Uniform Firearms Act of Pennsylvania preempts any Local Ban in Pennsylvania.

    Therefore, regardless The City, The Town, The Township, The Borough, The Ward, etc., Pennsylvania Law says that:

    1. Open Carry is Legal, however;

    2. If you A. Conceal the Firearm, or B. get into a Vehicle, then, you have to have a License to Carry Firearm (LTCH).

    If you:

    1. Carry a Firearm, in any way whatsoever, outside of your own Home , your own Land/Property, or your own Place of Business/Employment in a City of The First Class (Philadelphia), then, you MUST have a License to Carry Firearm (LTCH), or

    2. If your Local Government has Officially declared a State of Emergency, then, in order to Carry a Firearm, in Public during that Emergency, you must have a License to Carry Firearm (LTCH).

    Hell, I do not even live in Pennsylvania and I even know that, thanks to The Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association!

    Maybe, these rogue Town Hall Leaders should visit their Website at www.pafoa.org.

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    aadvark wrote:
    The Uniform Firearms Act of Pennsylvania preempts any Local Ban in Pennsylvania.

    Therefore, regardless The City, The Town, The Township, The Borough, The Ward, etc., Pennsylvania Law says that:

    1. Open Carry is Legal, however;

    2. If you A. Conceal the Firearm, or B. get into a Vehicle, then, you have to have a License to Carry Firearm (LTCH).
    PA Law doesn't say "open carry is legal." PA Law is silent on the issue of open carry, thus open carry is by de facto legal.

    The permit is called a LTCF, not a LTCH.
    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.

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    its legal via precedent as well.

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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    Please link case law when making a statement in regards to precedent.
    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.

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    This is from Commonwealth v. Hawkins;

    (4) In all parts of Pennsylvania, persons who are licensed may carry concealed firearms. 18 Pa.C.S. ยง 6108. Except in Philadelphia, firearms may be carried openly without a license. See Ortiz v. Commonwealth, ___ Pa. ___, ___, 681 A.2d 152, 155 (1996) (only in Philadelphia must a person obtain a license for carrying a firearm whether it is unconcealed or concealed; in other parts of the Commonwealth, unconcealed firearms do not require a license).

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