Federal Lawsuit Against Delaware County

The county where I grew up was slapped with a federal civil rights lawsuit yesterday for refusing to return lawfully owned guns to residents after they’ve been seized.

The plaintiff, Thomas DeOrio, 21, of Glen Mills, argues that the county government, judges and Sheriff’s Department illegally retain confiscated guns – even if a crime hasn’t been committed – when the owner is entitled to retrieve them.

In DeOrio’s case, Brookhaven police seized his collection of handguns and rifles in October and turned them over to the sheriff when his girlfriend filed for a temporary protection-from-abuse order. Shields said she perceived something he had said to be threatening. Three days later, after a court hearing, a judge dismissed the order, records show.

But DeOrio soon learned that getting his guns back wouldn’t be as easy.

Although the protection-from-abuse order had been thrown out, Shields said the sheriff’s office refused to return the firearms unless DeOrio filed a “legal action.”

The sheriff’s office is claiming that the county doesn’t give him authority to return the guns.  Unfortunately, the state does say the guns need to be returned.

The plaintiff is represented by the same attorney who NRA is working with to defeat the illegal Philadelphia gun laws.

4 thoughts on “Federal Lawsuit Against Delaware County”

  1. He should get the guns back, PLUS a hefty check, retraining of the officials involved, et, et, et. The retrained officials should be required to wear an armpatch signifying that they are Bill of Rights compliant.

    Hope they don’t just settle for the firearms and some sneers from their public servants.

  2. Robert,

    How about a uniform patch that reads “I have wasted $xxx of county money”?

  3. I’m telling you, this kind of behavior, plus open carry in Pa ought to be a cash cow for gun rights folks. Open carry or run a red light and volunteer that you have a shotgun in the trunk and get them to bite, clean up in court.

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