Pro-Gun Organization Files Lawsuit Against Pennsylvania Sheriff for Infringing in Gun Rights at Gun Store

On June 20, 2023, the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of two plaintiffs Grant Schmidt and Shot Tec, LLC. The Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and attorney Dillon Harris spearheaded the filing of this lawsuit. 

The question centers on a part of Pennsylvania code that grants law enforcement the power to carry out warrantless searches against licensed firearms dealers in the state. This code compels dealers to sign a Pennsylvania State Police’s promulgation, which obligated the licensees to agree with the destruction of their Fourth Amendment rights. 

The lawsuit is against Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Christopher Paris and Montgomery County Sheriff Sean Kilkenny and is connected to the PSP’s enactment of an unconstitutional regulation that allegedly authorizes warrantless searches of PA License to Sell Firearm licensees.

SAF argued that Sheriff Kilkenny’s policy is unconstitutional due to how it enabled the illegal search and seizure  of licensees without probable cause and a warrant. On top of that, it also compelled them to answer questions and put forward any requested documents.

In signing the application, the applicant concede that if a license is granted, the applicant grants permission to the Pennsylvania State Police, or their designee, and the issuing authority to head to the licensee’s business location and search the premises, documents, and records without a warrant, to guarantee compliance with the act.

Moreover, Kilkenny recently revealed a policy where he argued that not only can his deputies go in to gun stores to search the records without probable cause and warrant, but that his deputies can subject the licensee or his representatives for 1-2 hours of questioning where they could be forced to provide any relevant documents. 

The sheriff’s policy also seeks to persecute licensees for not having what he considers to be “safe storage.”  Moreover, such a policy allows for the revocation of a licensee’s License to Sell Firearms if they comply with these regulations simply by asserting their constitutional rights.

It should be noted that this policy has not been enacted by the Pennsylvania State Assembly.

Second Amendment Foundation’s Executive Director Adam Kraut broke down how bad this policy is: “The State Assembly has never enacted a law allowing for warrantless searches of licensees, but the state police promulgated a regulation requiring licensees to submit to such searches, which are now planned by the sheriff’s department.” Kraut added, “We believe there are grave constitutional issues involved in this scheme, particularly when an administrative agency simply waives an individual’s constitutional rights by implementing a regulation without any framework from the legislature. Equally troubling is the Sheriff’s assertion that he would revoke a license from an individual asserting their right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. We have filed this petition to ensure constitutional rights are respected.”

This policy is clearly unconstitutional. It’s another sign of Gun Control Inc’s multi-pronged strategy of using local means to destroy gun rights. States like Pennsylvania are already not so solid when it comes to gun rights. So any measures to undermine them at the local level will only sully the state’s pro-gun image. 

Gun owners in the state must do everything possible to stop these measures. 

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