This is Why We Need Constitutional Carry

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Because protections built into the law mean nothing to the Pennsylvania State Police. They apparently have illegally linked the LTCF information to our Drivers’ Licenses so that when you’re pulled over at a traffic stop the officer can see all your information related to the LTCF. It may not just be cops either:

Furthermore, even if there was, it is illegal to disclose this information to individuals other than a law enforcement officer acting in the scope of his/her duties. As I understand the new system, it is being relayed to emergency responders, which may even include tow truck drivers that are part of the system.

I’m very uncomfortable with this state of affairs. This essentially makes Pennsylvania a duty-to-inform state. How long before they link this to the plate readers the cops use these days? Bullshit. This information was supposed to be private and increasingly we’re seeing state officials violate the law when they feel like it. What’s worse? Most of the time they get away with it.

35 thoughts on “This is Why We Need Constitutional Carry”

  1. This is absolute bullshit. There is no legal basis for them to be sharing this information. Uncomfortable is an understatement. I don’t want to be driving in a city that hates gun owners, say Philly, and be grilled or treated like a criminal (or worse!)l because I exercise my rights.

  2. This should come as no surprise to any of us PA residents. I’ve personally been called back to an FFL (as directed by the state police), to correct a date mistake on a handgun purchase form, nearly one year after the purchase. PA law requires that form to be destroyed in 72 hours. I went so far as to cite the laws and penalties in a response, but it fell on deaf ears. The PSP needs a serious slap down by the state courts, but unfortunately the court is currently loaded with progressives who would sooner ignore the law and article 1 section 21, then become the outcast of their social circles for a pro gun ruling.

    1. “PA law requires that form to be destroyed in 72 hours.”


      In 1995 I was one of the people in Pennsylvania arguing — against the NRA, that was supporting it — that that provision in the legislation that would become Act 17 of 1995 would never be enforced. It never has been.

      I was of course labeled a psycho and a radical.

      You may recall that the NRA dubbed the law “The Sportsmen’s Omnibus Anti-Crime Bill.”

      I think you’ll find with a little research that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has since ruled that it’s perfectly fine for the PSP to violate those provisions of the Uniform Firearms Act that we were told would prevent the police from establishing a firearms registry.

      You need to understand that “law” is something to constrain you and me. Government is never constrained by it, if it is reasonably popular for it not to be.

      1. “against the NRA, that was supporting it”

        Just for clarity, “it” was an overall gun control package, that included an alleged ban on the use of the new “Instant Background Check” (also included in the bill) to maintain a firearm registry, as a sweetener to make the new gun control more palatable.

        It divided an conquered PA gun owners by throwing some extra bones to Philadelphia gun owners, who were adamant to give up the rest of the state to get them.

  3. Constitutional carry won’t really solve the problem, because most CC states (every one but Vermont, I believe) have provisions to issue CCW permits so their residents can take advantage of reciprocity laws in other states. The only real solution would be nationwide constitutional carry, and that, however desirable, is a pipe dream.

    1. True, but an incomplete database is a defective one. Not everyone who would carry in a CC state would obtain a CCW for out-of-state carry.

      This is why the PA handgun “database” is a complete joke. What’s the point of keeping it if I can move to PA with 50 handguns and not have to tell the PSP?

  4. Is this national then? Can any cop in any state now have access to this info??

  5. This is a stepping stone for the police to then be able to use your LTCF as a “probable cause” situation to violate your 4th amendment rights. Eventually, they’ll be pulling you over and forcing you to step out of the car.

      1. Depends on who appointed the judge, and how much blackmail material someone has. Rule of men.

  6. Just like they have been illegally keeping records of every handgun sold in PA, for decades, and since instant check was initiated I’ll bet every rifle as well!
    Who polices the State Police?

  7. Although I understand and agree with the sentiments above, here’s another POV:

    Several states, including MI and OH, have “duty to inform” in our/their CCW laws, and I’m sure the information is linked to your DL and auto registration. IE: the officer knows, when he pulls you over, that you have a LTC/CCW/CPL/whateveryouwanttocallit. You are required to IMMEDIATELY inform the officer that you have a license and are carrying, IF you are carrying. Because they already know you have that CPL, most instructors advise disclosing your license, but “I’m not presently carrying a weapon”.

    To the best of my knowledge, there have been no untoward problems because of this system. The cops learned early on that folks with that license belong to the “good guys” group, it’s rather rare for an officer to be anti-gun to any great degree.

    You do want to know the local laws where you’re carrying. It’s considered fairly serious to fail to IMMEDIATELY disclose, for instance.

    1. To be honest, it’s best for everyone if they don’t know. I’m not going to shoot any cop, so it’s a moot point. The cop is a lot more likely to injure himself or injure me coonfingering my gun. If I don’t know your level of familiarity, I don’t want to risk a cop getting me out of a car and drawing a pistol off me.

    2. “it’s rather rare for an officer to be anti-gun to any great degree.”

      I wish someone had told that to the officers who, spotting a cartridge box on the seat of my truck, but finding me unarmed, called for backup so a half-dozen of them could get to enjoy roughing me up.

      That despite me being polite to the level of obseqiousness.

      Of course, that was long before camera phones. But they knew there weren’t any witnesses, anyway.

      1. Andy,
        Do you have a CPL? If you do not, an officer might feel that you’re up to no good, if you do, you’ve been ‘vetted’ and they should (and usually do) leave you alone. Of course, officers do vary in their feelings about “civilian” gun ownership.

        Back in 1968, I loaded 3 or 4 rifles into the back seat of my car to go visit my folks in the country and do a bit of shooting. Had the bad fortune to get stopped by the Ohio Highway Patrol. He noticed the rifles, of course, as I hadn’t even thrown a blanket over them, and remarked, “gonna do some shooting, huh?” I told him the story, he gave me a warning for not signalling a turn, and I went on my way. I didn’t realize at the time that this was the first day of the Detroit riots; I was just outside Toledo, OH. Things would probably not go as smoothly today.

        1. “Do you have a CPL?”

          I didn’t at the time, but that wasn’t the issue. My truck was parked off the road back in the boonies where many people hunted. I normally would have been, but that day I didn’t even have a gun with me.

          The issue was I was driving a pretty junky old truck and wearing ratty clothes, so I looked vulnerable. Cops see “vulnerable,” and their true nature comes out, especially if they are frustrated by not being able to get you for anything.

  8. There’s still no duty to inform, so my response to this is that you’re going to have to pull me out of my car and physically search me if you want to know if I’m carrying. Questions will be met with a blank stare. Better be able to articulate why you believed I was dangerous because I’m contacting the ACLU the second we are done.

        1. I think you turned it into one when you brought the ACLU in on a gun case. They’re great on a lot of things, but that isn’t one of them.

  9. First of all, you MUST know and obey the laws in the jurisdiction where you are at the moment. If you cross from PA into OH, you have a duty to inform, and the powers that be don’t take that duty lightly. There was a court cast in MI some years ago that clarified “immediately”, and they do mean exactly that.

    I got stopped in MI 3 years ago; when the Sheriff deputy got to my window, I told him, “Before we go any further, I need to inform you that I have a CPL, and I am carrying”. He told me “Thanks, just leave it alone and we’ll get along fine”. It ended up with a verbal warning, no ticket. This is pretty typical.

    I try to put myself in the cop’s position; no, it doesn’t always work, but I’ve not been shot yet.

    1. Absolutely you have to know and okay the laws where you are at. However, I will not inform if there is no duty to inform. I won’t take the chance that I get the cop who wants to make an issue out of it.

      1. Is that likely to make things better or worse?

        (one of many reasons I don’t carry even though I support the right to do so)

      2. I think this is the right balance: if you are in a duty-to-inform state, you say “I’m licensed and I’m carrying” and leave it at that. Otherwise, you don’t say anything — what the officer doesn’t know won’t hurt him (and saying something might very well cause tension where it isn’t needed).

    2. “I’ve not been shot yet.”

      To revisit my comment above, chances are you don’t look like you (or by extension your family) are poor or powerless or unsophisticated.

      Vulnerability is to cops as blood in the water is to sharks.

  10. Andy,
    I dress in a work uniform and a ball cap, and was driving a 2000 VW Jetta with ‘gunny’ bumper stickers. Not exactly hoity-toity. ‘Nother story:

    In about 2002, I was driving through a small town in OH that is known for deriving a large portion of their income from their police force, mainly by stopping speeders. At the time, I passed through often enough that they were familiar with my ratty-looking 1881 VW Jetta, also sporting gunny stickers. As I’m from MI, I think the cops suspected that I was on a weekly drug run, and they stopped me for ‘no license plate light’. He inspected my DL, asked me where I was coming from and where I was going. When I told him that I was coming from the Sportsmans Club, he said, “the one on [someroadsomewhere]? and I replied, “no, it’s on Rt. 600”. In retrospect, I think he was checking to see if I was feeding him a line. He shortly handed my DL and registration back and I was on my way, not even a warning about the light. Now, get this:

    Ohio had not yet passed a CCW law, but Michigan had, about a year earlier. Here’s a guy, from MI, gunny stickers on his car, coming from a gun club, he HAD to have a good idea that I had a CPL. Of course, it was no good in Ohio, so why not ask him if he’s carrying and bust him for it? He apparently didn’t care, as he didn’t ask about a weapon. (Of course, I wasn’t carrying, as it would have been illegal.)

    I agree that not disclosing if it’s not required is fine and probably advised, but you’d best follow the law where disclosure is required.

    Yes, I know that it might be considered a Bad Idea to ‘fly the flag’ with the stickers and decals, including an NRA front license plate, but I don’t care. To me, it’s sort of a middle finger to the antis out there, helps to raise their blood pressure. :-)

    1. I’m always up for raising other people’s blood pressure. That way mine looks low by comparison :)

  11. Here in Silicon Valley, the cops know if you have an out-of-state carry permit. I don’t recall where I saw it, but there was a list of Utah holders listed by CA county, and my county had a couple thousand, and virtually none locally issued.
    Of course, CA honors no other state’s permits.

  12. In case anyone missed it in my post above, I’ve never had a problem with a cop of any kind, but any interaction has me defaulting to “he’s a good guy, just doing his job”, which is the way I approach most people. It seems to me that Andy has the opposite perspective.

  13. in va. the law specifically forbids sharing the information past the local clerk of court, yet every trooper knows i have one the moment he pulls me over. worse our dem wit gov shares that info with maryland, which stations plate readers at the border to target ccw holders as they cross. i will never enter maryland again. point is, laws are for peasants.

  14. Police should always treat every traffic stop as a situation with a firearm because they bring one themselves!

    They have absolutely no need to know if you are a CCW holder. They have done the silly classes and been background checked and are way more law abiding than the police. So there is no benefit from alerting them.

    Those without a CCW could be criminal vermin and there would not be an alert generated because they are not holders of a CCW.

    See how the duty to inform is useless and merely creates a bad situation?

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