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LTC Holder Busted

The woman in this story is a dummy, but check out how the Inky opened this article:

It is no secret that Philadelphia’s out-of-control murder rate makes folks feel that a gun can go off any time, any place. But on Tuesday, even the courthouse wasn’t off limits to a dangerous weapon.

Do journalist even try to write intelligently anymore?   I have some news for Simone Weichselbaum: guns do not just “go off, at any time, any place”.  Someone has to pull the trigger.

“She put her bag in the X-ray machine and began to enter security,” said Central Detective’s Capt. Sharon Seaborough.

Banks also had an “attitude,” cops said. She gave the impression she didn’t think there was anything wrong with carrying the gun, and a knife, in her purse, police said. She was charged with weapons offenses.

Dummy.  She had an LTC, but as anyone who has an LTC knows, you can’t carry into a court of law.  She might have some room to mount a defense here, because of the definition of “court facility” in PA law:

The courtroom of a court of record; a courtroom of a community court; the courtroom of a district justice; a courtroom of the Philadelphia Municipal Court; a courtroom of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court; a courtroom of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia; judge’s chambers; witness rooms; jury deliberation rooms; attorney conference rooms; prisoner holding cells; offices of court clerks, the district attorney, the sheriff and probation and parole officers; and any adjoining corridors.

There has been at least one court ruling in Pennsylvania that this cannot be applied to the entire building.  But this was Commonwealth Court for Jefferson County.  Some courts don’t set up the location of their metal detectors with this in mind.  If I were her attorney, I would make the argument that the law doesn’t say court facilities, but that the prohibition is limited.   Philadelphia courts are unlikely to rule that way, but it might be worth getting this cleared up in superior court, or the supreme court, so the entire commonwealth can have a single standard.

The state legislature is quite capable of making a law that would have prohibited an entire court house, but they didn’t choose to do that, they chose the prohibition to be limited, and I think there’s a good chance this woman can get off on the weapons charges.

Of course, you won’t read any of that in the Inquirer, since I doubt the reporter knows much about the law in any detail, and couldn’t be bothered to check.

3 Responses to “LTC Holder Busted”

  1. Robb Allen says:

    However, I wonder about the “attitude”.

    Simply informing a police officer of the law tends to get listed as “showing an attitude”. They don’t like to have anyone “disrespect their authority”.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Yeah, I take that with a grain of salt. Any other county in Pennsylvania, they probably would have pointed you toward the facilities to check a firearm, which all court houses in Pennsylvania are required by law to have, and then admonished you to be more careful. But not Philly, no, definitely not Philly. They will try to see what charges they can get to stick, because pestering otherwise law abiding permit holders is a lot easier than locking up real criminals.

  3. Wyatt Earp says:

    Robb, Philly Sheriffs control the security for all Philadelphia court buildings. PLEASE do not confuse them with the Philadelphia Police. That’s like comparing the FBI to Barney Fife of Mayberry P.D.

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