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Revocation OK, but Durante Confused About Law

Back when I was biking more regularly, one of my favorite bike trails was the Schukyll Trail.  I would rarely ride the whole thing, but the parts that go through Norristown can get a bit sketchy.  I’ve seen kids throw rocks at bikers on the trail.  Not like big rocks that are going to knock someone out, but bad enough behavior.  Apparently things have gone downhill, and there have been actual attacks.  This guy would make a pretty good poster boy for Brillianter’s pepper spray argument:

According to court records, DePaul told police he was riding his bike on the trail and almost crashed into a fence after a boy kicked him in the ribs near the 900 block of Conshohocken Road. DePaul said the boy had a BMX bicycle. Upset, DePaul fired all six rounds at the boy from a distance of 200 to 250 feet, the records say he told officers.

Facing these kinds of charges, the Sheriff is definitely within his legal rights to revoke his License to Carry.  It’s hard to make a self-defense argument for a threat that was almost a football field away from you.  It’s quite likely, if the news releases are true, that he’s going to go to prison, and he’ll deserve it.  He’ll be unable to own, let alone carry a firearm if convicted, and I won’t shed a tear for him.

But the reaction of the Sheriff of Montgomery County concerns me, especially since I carry on that trail when I bike it:

Sheriff Durante once again reminds the public that carrying a firearm on the trail or in any county park, regardless of whether or not one has a concealed carry permit, is illegal and a violation of the rules and regulations of the Montgomery County park system. Anyone caught in possession of a firearm in violation of these rules and regulations will immediately lose their concealed carry permit and will be turned over to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

It is entirely and unambiguously unalwful for Montgomery County to enforce this ordinance, and I can promise Durante a giant lawsuit if he tries.  As a violation of statewide preemption, it couldn’t be any clearer.  Furthermore, I’m rather outraged that Durante chose to focus on it (not) being illegal to carry in a county park, rather than mentioning this jackass’ LTC was revoked because he drew his hog leg and started shooting up the place like it was high-noon at the OK corral.

If you have a License to Carry a firearm, this ordinance does not apply to you.  Carry on the trail if you feel inclined, and if you get in trouble, contact an attorney and fight it.  The rest of us shouldn’t be punished because of one jackass.

4 Responses to “Revocation OK, but Durante Confused About Law”

  1. Crotalus says:

    I’m a little confused about DePaul’s part in this. Was he attacked, and shot at the kid after he was riding away? Did he have reason to believe that the kid was riding for reinforcements? After all, a kick in the ribs is a pretty serious assault.

  2. Caleb says:

    It is a serious assault, but people have to remember “reasonable force” and “a reasonable person” are the standards. If someone kicks you, and then rides away on a bike, they’re no longer a threat to you, so deadly force is clearly not justified in that situation.

  3. Sean Sorrentino says:

    “If someone kicks you, and then rides away on a bike, they’re no longer a threat to you, so deadly force is clearly not justified in that situation.”

    this is true, but how do we know that is want happened? that is what is being reported, but when a Sheriff lies about the law, don’t you worry that his fidelity to the truth might be less than complete?

  4. Sebastian says:

    It’s what’s in the police report, according to the accounts. If the facts are in dispute, that’s for a jury to decide.

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