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Thread: Looking for a little help

  1. #1
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    Looking for a little help

    About 20 years ago, I did something stupid and wound up having to plead guilty to a felony. I did everything that was required of me and in 2004, I petitioned the court to have it reduced to a misdemeanor under IC 19-2604. The petition was granted, and in the order it said that it was deemed a misdemeanor, thereby restoring the petitioner to his civil rights. My lawyer told me that included my firearms rights.

    In 2011, I got an Idaho CWL (I'm current living in PA). I'd like to buy a pistol, so I hired a lawyer in PA that deals with firearms laws, and he went over my situation. He told me that I was good to go under PA statutes, that that I should try to buy an gun and if PICS (PA has its own verion of NICS) were to initially deny it, he would handle it from there.

    Well, the current status is that he is telling me that PA is going to deny me because they consider Idaho laws somewhat confused, and a prosecutor they talked to told them that 'deemed a misdemeanor' doesn't restore firearms rights.

    I'm currently waiting for a call back from my old Idaho lawyer's parter to see if he might have something that can help me. My current lawyer is telling me that a legal opinion letter isn't going to help because PA considers what the prosecutor told them to be 'official'.

    I'm looking for other options at this point if anybody has suggestions to what I could do or who I could talk to to deal with this. Or a referral to a hot shot firearms rights lawyer in Idaho who might be able to resolve this.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Idaho-born; 01-26-2012 at 02:38 PM.

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    I doubt a lawyer in Idaho is going to help you with a Pennsylvania legal situation.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecocks View Post
    I doubt a lawyer in Idaho is going to help you with a Pennsylvania legal situation.
    The original incident happened in Idaho and he now lives in PA. In that case an attorney from Idaho would be quite helpful and is probably going to be necessary.

    Good luck to the OP.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 01-26-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCR View Post
    PM sent
    Received and email sent.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    The original incident happened in Idaho and he now lives in PA. In that case an attorney from Idaho would be quite helpful and is probably going to be necessary.

    Good luck to the OP.
    I doubt it.

    Pennsylvania has denied his permit citing that Idaho's action in declaring his offense a misdemeanor by petition has no effect on their determination that he committed a felony in the past.

    So, my advice remains that an Idaho lawyer is probably not going to be of much use in a Pennsylvania legal situation.

    The State Attorney General's office in Idaho might possibly be able to clarify the situation with the issuing agency in Pennsylvania but a lawyer isn't going to accomplish anything based on what his PA lawyer is telling him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecocks View Post
    I doubt it.

    Pennsylvania has denied his permit citing that Idaho's action in declaring his offense a misdemeanor by petition has no effect on their determination that he committed a felony in the past.
    A couple of things. It is not a permit I'm trying to get, it is approval by the Pennsylvania Instant Checks System (PA's local version of NICS) to be able to buy a firearm. Also, PA does acknowledge that it was reduced to a misdemeanor, but from talking to the prosecutor, they don't believe that is was accompanied by a restoration of civil rights that include firearms rights. I'm also ok under PA statutes, because the facts of my original offense aren't covered by any of PA's disqualifying offenses.

    So, my advice remains that an Idaho lawyer is probably not going to be of much use in a Pennsylvania legal situation.

    The State Attorney General's office in Idaho might possibly be able to clarify the situation with the issuing agency in Pennsylvania but a lawyer isn't going to accomplish anything based on what his PA lawyer is telling him.
    Actually, if there is a lawyer who had a good relationship with some prosecutors, he could give them my details that show that I'm not prohibited under Idaho law, and have them get ahold of the PSP and correct the previous opinion. That would pretty much clear this up for me.

    If I'm eventually denied, I can wait a while and try again with the PSP, or appeal it to the PA Attorney General. However the appeal(s) start getting progressively more expensive. I've already spent about $1500 on this, and I'm hoping to get it resolved before we get into the tens of thousands of dollars range.

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    Good Luck!

    Let us know how this works out for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecocks View Post
    Good Luck!

    Let us know how this works out for you.
    Well, it isn't done yet, but I figured I should probably post an update.

    I did wind up having to appeal to the PA AG's office. Had a hearing, and got denied. The administrative law judge there completely ignored the court order restoring my rights, and the fact I had a CWL in her ruling. She said that since the original offense was prohibiting, I was therfore prohibited. Let me tell you, that was weird reading the decision. It was like our side of the hearing had just competely disappeared.

    Anyway, talking it over with my lawer here in PA, we discussed the options of appealing the decision, and given the lack of experience with Idaho laws and legislative intent that we would be dealing with, he felt it would be a much better expenditure of my money if I were to pursue action in Idaho that would more expicitly state that my firearms rights were restored.

    So currently, I have hired a lawyer in Idaho, and we are going for a declaratory type judgement from the court that explicitly states that my firearms rights were among the rights restored to me. I won't be getting into details about it until it is done, but I'm hoping it will be done in a few months.

    So, where it stands now, I've spent just a little over $5000, and been waiting 9 years since my rights were restored, and I still can't buy a firearm.

    (Well, actually, I could go to Idaho and buy a longarm through an Idaho FFL with my CWL, and take it home with me, but I won't. Not until I can be sure that the state of PA wouldn't try and lock me up over it.)

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    This is a great example why laws prohibiting firearms ownership to released felons are asinine. A true criminal would have already bought a damn gun, and for far less than $5000. Also, poor non-criminal ex-felons are immorally deprived of their birthright.

    Fail all around.
    Last edited by marshaul; 05-25-2013 at 01:27 PM.

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    Action filed, wating for a response from the State. Should move quickly now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho-born View Post
    Well, it isn't done yet, but I figured I should probably post an update.

    I did wind up having to appeal to the PA AG's office. Had a hearing, and got denied. The administrative law judge there completely ignored the court order restoring my rights, and the fact I had a CWL in her ruling. She said that since the original offense was prohibiting, I was therfore prohibited. Let me tell you, that was weird reading the decision. It was like our side of the hearing had just competely disappeared.

    Anyway, talking it over with my lawer here in PA, we discussed the options of appealing the decision, and given the lack of experience with Idaho laws and legislative intent that we would be dealing with, he felt it would be a much better expenditure of my money if I were to pursue action in Idaho that would more expicitly state that my firearms rights were restored.

    So currently, I have hired a lawyer in Idaho, and we are going for a declaratory type judgement from the court that explicitly states that my firearms rights were among the rights restored to me. I won't be getting into details about it until it is done, but I'm hoping it will be done in a few months.

    So, where it stands now, I've spent just a little over $5000, and been waiting 9 years since my rights were restored, and I still can't buy a firearm.

    (Well, actually, I could go to Idaho and buy a longarm through an Idaho FFL with my CWL, and take it home with me, but I won't. Not until I can be sure that the state of PA wouldn't try and lock me up over it.)

    Have you ever thought of shooting a Black powder firearm ?
    They are not considered a firearm according to the feds, and you don't need any checks of any kind.
    They are lots of fun to shoot to !
    You can order it from Cabela's and they will ship it to you !
    Have a good day
    Robin47

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    Regular Member hhofent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    This is a great example why laws prohibiting firearms ownership to released felons are asinine. A true criminal would have already bought a damn gun, and for far less than $5000. Also, poor non-criminal ex-felons are immorally deprived of their birthright.

    Fail all around.
    I completely agree with this statement, and would extend it to include all 2A infringing laws. If I wanted to commit any crime where I would need a firearm to make it easier, or for protection while I do it, not only would I not care about other laws I would break to get the firearm, the laws also wouldn't stop me from getting it.
    This is an obvious case of everyones rights being taken away for no reason other than to ensure the illusion of safety.

    Sent from my SCH-R680 using Tapatalk 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin47 View Post
    Have you ever thought of shooting a Black powder firearm ?
    They are not considered a firearm according to the feds, and you don't need any checks of any kind.
    They are lots of fun to shoot to !
    You can order it from Cabela's and they will ship it to you !
    Have a good day
    Robin47
    Unfortunately, PA has a state law that prohibits anybody federally prohibited from using any type of chemically powered weapon. So black powder is out.

    Quick update, I did file for a declatory judgement. The Idaho AG office objected for lack of standing. The judge upheld, and I've filed a motion for reconsideration. AG just objected again. I'll get a copy of the objection from my lawyer later today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho-born View Post
    Quick update, I did file for a declatory judgement. The Idaho AG office objected for lack of standing. The judge upheld, and I've filed a motion for reconsideration. AG just objected again. I'll get a copy of the objection from my lawyer later today.
    Judge kicked it out for lack of standing again. Appeal filed. $4000 for the appeal (guestimated). Also seeing if I can short-cut this by asking the Parole Commission to restore my firearms rights. (Yes, they were already restored, but this does it in a way that PA won't complain about)

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    Regular Member SovereigntyOrDeath's Avatar
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    Any updates?

    You might want to ask a firearms rights specialist like Alex Kinkaid in Boise: http://alexkincaid.com/

    It seems odd that if Idaho "reduced" your felony to a misdemeanor, that a felony would still be on your record.

    The legal system is all about connections and money. You could have had it reduced to an infraction with both of the aforementioned assets.

    Best of Luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereigntyOrDeath View Post
    Any updates?

    You might want to ask a firearms rights specialist like Alex Kinkaid in Boise: http://alexkincaid.com/

    It seems odd that if Idaho "reduced" your felony to a misdemeanor, that a felony would still be on your record.

    The legal system is all about connections and money. You could have had it reduced to an infraction with both of the aforementioned assets.

    Best of Luck!
    OP lives in PA ... but still, good info to know even if it does not aide this poster

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    Regular Member SovereigntyOrDeath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    OP lives in PA ... but still, good info to know even if it does not aide this poster
    Yes, I read that he lived here, got a felony here, was told his felony was reduced and that his gun rights are restored, moved to PA and is now "fighting city hall" in PA.

    He needs to fix the problem here in order to fix his problem there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereigntyOrDeath View Post
    Any updates?

    You might want to ask a firearms rights specialist like Alex Kinkaid in Boise: http://alexkincaid.com/

    It seems odd that if Idaho "reduced" your felony to a misdemeanor, that a felony would still be on your record.

    The legal system is all about connections and money. You could have had it reduced to an infraction with both of the aforementioned assets.

    Best of Luck!
    Sorry about taking so long to get back here. The appeal was filed. The Idaho Supreme Court reviewed it, and aren't assigning to Superior Court, but instead are picking up the case themselves. This is potentially a good sign, as there seems to be something interesting to them in the case. Which I take that they are unlikely to just deny on the standing issue again.

    The lawyer I've got, Leo Griffard, came to me highly recommended, and I've been happy with his work so far.

    This issue isn't that I've still got a felony on my record. PA agrees that it was reduced to a misdemeanor, but they are claiming that the way it was done didn't restore my firearms rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    OP lives in PA ... but still, good info to know even if it does not aide this poster
    The original jurisdiction, Idaho, is the only one that can say whether or not an offense is prohibiting, and how relief for the prohibition can be obtained. Some states never allow restoration of right, and it doesn't matter where you move, that stays with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by SovereigntyOrDeath View Post
    Yes, I read that he lived here, got a felony here, was told his felony was reduced and that his gun rights are restored, moved to PA and is now "fighting city hall" in PA.

    He needs to fix the problem here in order to fix his problem there.
    Yep, this is correct.

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    Well, my case is going to be heard by the Idaho Supreme court next month.

    Got my fingers crossed. The fact they skipped over the Superior Court level is a potentially hopeful sign. At least they aren't likely to take the case like that just to deny standing again.

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    Well, they had the hearing. Not as good as I was hoping for, but not as bad as it could have been.

    It will take about 1 to 6 months to get an answer as to whether or not I have standing to ask for a declaratory judgment.

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    Got my fingers crossed for ya!
    Chuck Norris/Ted Nugent That's the ticket for 2016!

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