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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Man's gun permit fight hits a snag

Court reverses ruling that allowed area man to carry weapon. Original denial came after tax-evasion plea.

By TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER

[email protected]

WILKES-BARRE - A Sugarloaf Township man's 7-year battle to regain his right to carry a concealed weapon suffered a major setback Monday when the state's Commonwealth Court reversed a ruling that granted him the permit.

The decision is the latest in a long, complex legal battle Michael S. Pecora has waged with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Luzerne County Sheriff's Office.

Pecora had held a concealed weapons permit for about 35 years, but the sheriff's office denied him renewal in 1996 after a state police records check showed Pecora pleaded no contest in 1978 to federal income tax evasion.

The problem: In 1996 the state's Uniform Firearms Act was amended to prohibit persons convicted of crimes punishable by more than one year from owning a firearm. At the time of Pecora's plea, the sentence for tax evasion fit that criteria.

The controversial amendment has led to several court challenges because it resulted in some people convicted of relatively minor, non-violent crimes being permanently banned from owning firearms. Pecora and other plaintiffs have maintained the law unfairly penalizes them because it is being applied retroactively.

Pecora twice took his case to Luzerne County Court, arguing his conviction dealt with a crime involving business, therefore it fell under an exception within the Firearms Act. Two county judges ruled in his favor, once in 1998 and again in 2003, but state police persisted in their appeals and the case landed before Commonwealth Court in September.

The latest appeal before Commonwealth Court was unusual in that Pecora's attorney, Anthony Lucadamo of Hazleton, conceded the Firearms Act precludes Pecora from owning a firearm. That would make the issuance of a concealed weapons permit a moot point, but Lucadamo said on Monday that Pecora persisted with the appeal out of principle.

"He had the license to carry a firearm for many years. He felt strongly it should not be taken away from him," Lucadamo said. "It was principle for him from day one. He knew there was no practical way he could carry a firearm."

Lucadamo tried to distinguish the issue of the gun permit from the ownership issue, saying the Firearms Act prohibition dealt only with ownership.

The Commonwealth Court rejected the argument, noting such a distinction would lead to an "absurd result" that a person could be prohibited from owning a gun, yet be entitled to hold a concealed weapons permit.

Lucadamo said he does not know if Pecora will appeal the case further. He could ask the state Supreme Court to hear the case, but the high court hears only a limited number of cases each year, so there is no guarantee it would consider the appeal
 

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It stopped being a "justice system" and started being a "court of law" a long time ago.

Lynch
 

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Class 07 FFL/SOT
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Penn state gestapo?

What a fine way to spend the taxpayers money.The fellow has been carrying for 35 years...Is there a problem here?
 

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Code name: Felix
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It's complicated, but where do you draw the line?

Should the courts allow anyone who's guilty of a crime punishable for one or more years to carry? I don't feel comfortable with that. Once you set a precedent it will be there for others to use a basis for their case. Pretty dangerous grounds for any judge to step on.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A good starting point would be violent felonies or crimes where a weapon was used.

We are making so many thing felonies today that we could wind up gutting the 2nd amendment.
 

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According to the INGSOC Manual of Love.......everything allready is a Felony.
 

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aviator said:
It's complicated, but where do you draw the line?...
I had thought it was simple, and that the line is drawn at felonies. And that any offense for which you can be sentenced to a year or more is a felony.

By my read, this guy has a felony conviction. He plead no contest to an offense for which he could have been sentenced to a year or more incarceration. Pleading no contest is the same as pleading guilty with the sole exception that it can't be taken as an admission of guilt in a subsequent civil case - something irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Don't see what the BFD is. The guy's got a felony conviction. He should be thankful he didn't get busted for felon-in-possession.

You legal-beagles out there - am I missing something here?
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think the issue is that tax evasion is pretty thin for denial of 2nd amemdment rights.
 

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Custer said:
A good starting point would be violent felonies or crimes where a weapon was used.

We are making so many thing felonies today that we could wind up gutting the 2nd amendment.
There are thousands of good citizens out there that have been convicted of felonies on B.S. charges. We should only be restricting the rights of predetors and violent felons. IMHO
 

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Well, as the law stands now, I still think the guy is lucky he didn't get busted for felon-in-possession and don't see what the BFD is, but...

Yeah, I do question the prohibition against felons having firearms. I've blathered about this before: Good way to disarm a segment of the population is to define what they do as a felony, when state laws provide for felons' loss of voting rights it's also a good way to disenfranchise a segment of the population. When simple possession of pot was a felony, pot laws served to disarm and disenfranchise lefty potheads. Sodomy laws could serve to disarm and disenfranchise homosexuals. Many folks argue that current drug laws serve to disarm and disenfranchise Blacks since they're more likely to get busted for dope than White folks.

But the bright side is that rigid enforcement of Federal parts-count regs for AK's would result in disarming and disenfranchising a lot of conservative gun-nuts.
 

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Custer said:
I think the issue is that tax evasion is pretty thin for denial of 2nd amemdment rights.
Pure BS! (Although expected coming from a former Big 3 exec)

You dont pay your fees, you don't receive the benefits.

Anyone who is willing to take the goods without paying the price is nothing more than a cheat or a theif.

In this guys case , however, this was almost 25 years ago and it sounds like he's somebody that his local LEO's really dont want to have a firearm, and if his township is like the ones I visited in PA last winter, then everyone knows everybody, if they're not already related through intermarriage or some sort of sectarian inbreeding. As a matter of fact, they want this guy NOT to own a gun so much they are willing to flush their entire budget down the legal-fee shitter just to make sure he doesn't.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was never a big 3 exec.

I did work as a janitor and then production worker in a Ford forging plant to put myself through college.
 

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Custer said:
...I did work as a janitor and then production worker in a Ford forging plant to put myself through college.
Yes, but after graduation you became a traitor to your class and imprisoned by your own bourgoise beliefs. We shall set you free.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
Yes, but after graduation you became a traitor to your class and imprisoned by your own bourgoise beliefs. We shall set you free.
Dad, it that you?
 

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Custer said:
I was never a big 3 exec.

I did work as a janitor and then production worker in a Ford forging plant to put myself through college.

My mistake. I thought I remembered you mentioning something to that effect awhile back over at Brand X.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did work many years for a large, diversified corporation that I would proudly call part of the military industrial complex. Some of the businesses made and supplied car components to the world's carmakers, not just the so called Big 3.
 

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The violent felony stipulation asside... not to lessen this argument's merit... my second observation regarding this issue is that the new law is retroactive against prior convictions - to the tune of 25 years in fact.

I have a problem with a law that can reach back 25 years and start penalizing you again for a debt you paid 25 years ago.

I mean... from a practical perspective... that a long clean slate between the crime and the reinstated punishment.

Something wrong there in my book.

Lynch
 

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Well, how does the Federal felon-in-possession law work (those of various states may differ from one another):

I had thought that a felony was anything for which you could pick up more than a year, and that it didn't matter what it was actually for or when it happened. So that if you were found guilty in 1904 for violating a state law prohibiting having library books more than two weeks' overdue, and you could have been sentenced to a yeard and a day for it at that time, you're still prohibited by Federal law from having a firearm.

Izzat the deal?

(The many folks who picked up a felony conviction for possession of marijuana roach 40 years ago come immediately to mind.)
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I always start out the inquiry about what violations of law should be considered by dividing them into two stacks: 1. malum in se & 2. malum prohibitum

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"Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong in itself; it is an act that is illegal from the nature of the act, i.e. it is inherently evil without any fact of its being noticed or punished; such crimes as larceny, rape and murder are considered malum in se. This concept was used to develop the various common law crimes.

This term is to be distinguished from Malum prohibitum which simply means wrongs that are prohibited, i.e. not necessarily inherently immoral or hurtful, but only wrong by statute."
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Most that fall in stack 1 should keep you from possessing a firearm. Those in category 2 should be reviewed very carefully and only a few should result in disqualification.

The dramatic growth in the law has been in stack two, not stack one.
 

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Custer said:
I always start out the inquiry about what violations of law should be considered by dividing them into two stacks: 1. malum in se & 2. malum prohibitum...
That's a neat distinction, Custer. Thanks. I'm gonna have to try to remember those legalisms.

Anyway, yeah, loss of firearms or voting rights should be reserved for those who commit offenses that are malum in se, such as registering as a Republican.
 
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