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How to Get Your LTCF Revoked

A guy gets pulled over for doing 85 in a 55, charged with reckless driving.  A few weeks later, his License to Carry is revoked by the Delaware County Sheriff.  Reasoning is the old “character and reputation” escape clause.   Is this an abuse of discretion?  Or a proper exercise of it?

My opinion is, if everything was as claimed, it’s not an appropriate use of that clause.  But I think this guy might not get his license back.  The Sheriff will no doubt argue that Reckless Driving is a serious summary offense, and is accompanied by a six months suspension of your license to drive a motor vehicle, and that being convicted of it exhibits a certain poor judgment that makes one a person who’s character makes him unsuitable to carry a firearm.

I think once we’re rid of Fast Eddie, revoking the “character and reputation” clause needs to be a priority.  Pennsylvania is supposed to be a shall issue state, but we’re not technically.  Sheriffs retain, and still use, considerable discretion on when to revoke or not issue licenses in Pennsylvania.  If the guy had a string of non-disqualfiying misdemeanors, I might not complain, but doing 85 in a 55 might technically be reckless driving, but I won’t tell you I’ve never done it.  It may be an indicator of bad judgment, but if it’s so bad that it should be disqualifying, why did the legislature choose to not include it in the list of disqualifying offenses?

Either way, I end up arguing in that thread about carrying Pennsylvania on a foreign reciprocal license if you’re a PA resident who’s had their LTC revoked.  Keep reading if you’re interested in that topic.  Keep in mind I’m no lawyer though, and the only lawyer who responded said he wouldn’t advise it.

9 Responses to “How to Get Your LTCF Revoked”

  1. Weer'd Beard says:

    all these “shades of grey” judgement calls for licence issue, and revocation are just ASKING for Police abuse. Some states have this loophole for cops, and the cops don’t use it….yet.

    Its just a way for totalitarian to sidestep due process.

  2. Spence says:

    You have to be careful about this everywhere. Last year the some of our lovely state reps tried to amend the CCW law here in NH to allow for some discretion for issue and revocation of the permits here based on character, rather than being a convicted felon or other prohibited person. Over 400 people showed up at the State house during the discussion of the bill when it was in committee. Either 3 of 4 or 4 of 5 sponsors (I can’t remember) voted against it, and the bill was killed.

  3. GunGeek says:

    Here in SC, if you have six traffic tickets of any kind in the five years prior, you will have your CWP application rejected. They even tell you so on the paperwork. Presumably, the same six-in-five rule would apply for while you have it and when you put in for a renewal.

  4. anon says:

    “85 in a 55” As someone who drives on the Capitol Beltway daily, all I can say is: Good thing they didn’t catch him going fast…

  5. What crap. I can carry in PA on my VA permit all day, every day, and my driving record is irrelevant. Why should PA residents be worse off than I am in that regard?

  6. Lysander says:

    Anon –

    Just be careful there. (Standard” I ain’t your lawyer – without a signed retainer agreement” and “this ain’t legal advice” disclaimers apply.)

    Reckless driving by speed in VA is “Over 80/Over 20”. 56 is a 35 gets you, as doing 81. Now, if the LEO is nice, he’ll shave a few MPH off the ticket to covert it back to your standard speeding ticket.

    Also, for the record – 86 on I-81 near Woodstock. Never did that again – but I disclose it when asked for.

  7. Lysander says:

    Non-previewing error: that should read “56 IN a 35”

  8. I agree that this is an abuse of the discretionary authority granted to sheriffs. But I will also argue that the solution is to sue and get the courts (or better, the legislature) to provide some guidance.

    There are people out there are who are crazy–but not crazy enough to have been involuntarily committed yet. There are people out there who the police know, from frequent arrests, are career criminals, and smart enough criminals that they haven’t been convicted, nor been elected to public office in Philly. There are people who are short-tempered, and only by the best of luck haven’t gotten themselves convicted of a serious crime…yet.

    That’s part of why Pennsylvania and Oregon both have such provisions in their statutes for concealed carry issuance. At least in Oregon, the provision puts the burden of proof on the sheriff to establish by a pattern of behavior, that someone represents a threat to public safety, but is not in a prohibited category. If the court rules against the sheriff on appeal, he gets stuck with the court costs. This creates an incentive for the sheriff to use this discretion only when he has clear evidence that the applicant is a hazard.

  9. Sebastian says:

    If that’s how they were using it, I wouldn’t have a problem. But I think a lot of sheriffs are realizing they can make PA may-issue again if they abuse that discretion, and the courts let them get away with it.

    I go with the hard core types on carrying firearms. I think it’s constitutionally protected, and shouldn’t require permission from the state for its free exercise. Basically, if you’re not disqualified from owning a firearm legally, you’re not disqualified from carrying one.

    I am interested in making sure people who are borderline crazy, or have a pattern of non-prohibiting offenses, don’t get concealed carry licenses, because I don’t want them making the licensing program look bad, and have people start demanding its repeal, or making its passage more difficult in other states. But I’m not too enthusiastic about licensing constitutional rights, and I wouldn’t have a problem revoking the sheriff’s discretion if they can’t use it properly.

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