Meleanie Hain Prevails

Looks like the open carry soccer mom got her license to carry reinstated:

Judge Robert Eby said even though the law required him to give her the permit back, he questioned whether Hain showed good judgment by ignoring other parents’ safety concerns.

Hain said she’s satisfied with the result and expects she’ll be back on the sidelines with her gun in the future.

Pennsylvania remains a shall-issue state.  The sheriffs can’t revoke licenses just because you do something that makes them uncomfortable.

20 thoughts on “Meleanie Hain Prevails”

  1. Now aren’t you glad you didn’t throw her under the bus??…..Oops…wait….my bad!

  2. There’s a difference between supporting her legal battle, which I always have. The sheriff was out of line. That doesn’t mean I think carrying at a kids soccer game when another parent freaks out is a good strategy for the open carry movement as a whole. I think they need a plan, and a strategy — right now I don’t think they have either.

  3. Do you believe gay pride parades are a good strategy?

    What about the 60s civil rights marches?

    What about pro-choice, or anti-abortion rallies?

    All these make people uncomfortable. That’s part of a strategy. Not “freak people out”, but if someone does freak at the sight of an inanimate object, I have to wonder about that person’s maturity.

  4. In order to have your message be effective, you have to get the public to relate to your message. People can relate to wanting to be treated as equal citizens. Whether you want to face this fact or not, most people cannot relate to our desire to carry a gun for self-protection, and those that can, can’t relate to why we’d want to do it openly, when concealed carry licenses are easy to get.

    As I mentioned before, we live in a remarkably safe society by historical standards. So safe most people are not concerned about crime enough to think about carrying a firearm for self-protection. There are only 600,000 people, less than 5% of the state, who are licensed to carry firearms. The number of those who are open carrying is astonishingly small — it will always be small — most people don’t want the hassle of it.
    What most people don’t understand is that carrying a firearm is no great burden. When the public sees that it is a burden, in that it’s invited legal and social trouble on someone, there’s very little there they can relate to. And the media will certainly make sure they don’t have a lot of information to go on as to what the person who’s open carrying believes, and why they are doing it. The conclusion the public will draw from incomplete information is that this person is trying to shock others, is seeking attention. Neither of these things will find acceptance with the public.

    Open carry is just something people need to see. If they see enough people doing it, they will get used to it. I all they see are people featured in media articles that convey incomplete information about the goals of the greater movement, they won’t. That’s why I suggest that OC activists, and this woman was an activist — she’s was not unknown to the forums that promote OC, need to go to great lengths to avoid media attention. Carrying at a place or event geared toward children is one of those things that’s very likely to attract the kind of attention the movement shouldn’t want.

    It might be your right to open carry. I agree with that. But if all you’re interested in is being right, rather than being effective, please stop pretending your doing any favors for the rest of the gun owning community who doesn’t participate in this kind of activism.

  5. The only problem I have with this whole situation is a story in the news, that I can’t find now, where one of the parents said the questioned Hain, and supposedly she claimed she was a police officer, then it came out, she’s not a PO, but wants to be one.

    Now, was this something the parent made up to make Ms. Hain look bad, or did it really happen? I don’t know. But it gives me reason to wonder.

  6. Al, that statement was not an accurate representation of any statement she made to anyone at any point.

    rightwingprof, after picking up her LTCF from the Sheriff’s office today, she attended another of her child’s soccer games this evening. OC, and without incident. Shortly thereafter, she was approached by an assistant manager while shopping in Wal-Mart (I just happened to be on the phone with her during the conversation).

    She immediately exited the store, secured her firearm, and returned inside to clarify the manager’s wishes so she could respect them in the future. The conversation was not confrontational at all, and both parties parted amicably.

  7. With regard to my previous post, I had doubts about the statement, as I thought that perhaps someone was trying to put her in the light of “wannabe cop/crazy person” or something to that effect.

    With regards to her experiences at Wal-Mart, she should contact their Corp. offices as it it my understanding that they generally follow the laws of the state that the store is in. I know that members of Michigan Open Carry have OCed in local Wal-Marts and many other stores, without incident.

  8. Actually I agree with you about the guy at the Obama rally. That was in your face behavior and foolish to challenge possible Secret Service concerns. Obama’s safety is a real concern to the Secret Service.

    His case may clarify the limits of security concerns versus civil rights, in case of open carry. I believe he will win since he was outside the security zone.

    I know that open carry is a sensitive subject. I personally would like to see more since it exemplifies a free person. However I see that through the lens of my bias of gun rights. Another person would see the open carry as a statement on the safety of society and make them very uncomfortable. Like you, I believe we have a safe society.

    I think we will have to see how open carry activism works. But I can not allow my fears to prevent this activism. I actually think it will be successful as long as it is kept low key. But if practiced, we will have cases like of Ms Haim, which really is the attempt to impose petty tyranny from an ex judge. These little tyrannies are where real liberty is fought and won.

    VCDL has been diligent to push all the little bureaucratic attempts to limit and hassle gun carriers. Little by little VCDL has won against signs in parks and cities prohibition attempts.

    Liberty is won and lost in these little cases like a sheriff improperly taking a LTC from a woman who was committing no crime. Let’s celebrate this win plus the fact she continued in her actions without further hassle from the other parents. That is a plus when normal folks know that are not allowed to let their fears take our rights even if they don’t agree with those rights. Hopefully their fears will lessen over time.

  9. Why does she need a gun for in the first place, Is it a war zone in her home town. Just another whack job showing what a cunt she can be.

  10. Willy,

    It’s a simple question, but the answer is complex. I understand why Ms. Hain carries a gun. What I understand a lot less is why she would want to deal with displaying it openly. It’s something I’d be willing to try to explain if you have an open mind about it, but a lot of people don’t.

  11. It makes littles sense to me to buy a gun for the purpose of personal protection (like the Democrats say we are entitled to do) and then leave the gun sitting at home in a gun safe. The first thing you should buy when purchasing handgun for personal protection is a good, comfortable holster…and then USE IT! This lady was doing what she should have been doing…carrying her weapon!

  12. Two things. The guy at the Obama rally was NOT within the secured zone, and therefore, should not have been arrested. He was not doing anything that would be remotely considered illegal.

    Second, if we have the right to carry for self defense, then do it. Openly, or concealed, makes no difference to me. I see nothing wrong with either method, as long as it’s legal.

  13. I agree that he shouldn’t have been arrested, but open carrying under some circumstances is asking for a public relations disaster. An Obama rally would be one of those circumstances.

  14. I would say that, perhaps he should have carried concealed, all things considered. But as he was not in the security zone, and had not passed through any metal detectors, he was not breaking the law. At the MOST, I could see police talking to him. But arrested? If this plays out by the book, he should have great grounds for a lawsuit.

  15. It’s our right as Americans to carry a gun. She’s not a criminal and not a threat and it is not concealed. If the other parents were that worried about it, why don’t they just carry a gun on their hip also… It’s not illegal. Some people just don’t like it… and I’m sorry but just because you don’t like something, that doesn’t mean it should have to change… grow up people.Be adults. If you feel that unsafe around her, carry your own gun to “protect” yourself…. Maybe the way you feel about her having the gun, is the way she feels about strange people and feels the need to protect herself and her kids… and you never know… maybe when your ass gets robbed/held up by some little punk she’ll be there to help… Hopefully she wont though, b/c you should of had your own gun. Morons.. This is her right and I stand behind her completely. And the sheriff that took away her permit should lose his job for abuse of power. Just b/c he doesn’t like it, that doesn’t mean it’s not still legal. He violated her constitutional rights and used his position to do so….

  16. jen, I think you need to read this blog more before commenting. Sebastian is a steadfast defender of Second Amendment rights.

    No one is charging that they feel unsafe around her, if you would take the time to read the debate closely (along with many other posts here), it’s about how to best pursue public relations on the issue without turning off large numbers of the population. No, that doesn’t mean always giving into them, it just means stopping to think about the context of actions and follow through should a PR disaster start to unfold.

    One example of turning off people might include your comment which charges many activist gun owners engaged in reasonable and intelligent debate on this site are nothing but morons who deserve to be robbed. That doesn’t do anything to move the argument or issue forward.

    I should also mention that Pennsylvania is not shall issue for carry licenses. While I would agree it’s not right for the Sheriff to have pulled it, it’s hardly considered an abuse of power. She ultimately prevailed in getting her license restored, and that’s a good thing. It was presented here as such.

  17. Bitter, I disagree with your assessment that Pa. is not ‘shall issue’ for LTCFs. The statute (§6109(e)(1)) even uses that language, and if an applicant meets the legal qualifications, the Sheriff has no discretion in the decision. Even the NRA shows us as a “shall issue” state (

    Granted, the “character” and “habitual drunkard” points are a bit subjective, but beyond that, the Sheriff doesn’t “make the decision”, he simply follows the law put in place by the legislature. Allowing Sheriff’s discretion in this matter would also be a violation of §6120, since it would be permitting a county official to regulate the “possession, transfer, or transportation of firearms”.

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