Important Ruling From PA Superior Court

The en banc Superior Court, in Commonwealth v. Goslin, has ruled in favor of the defendant without dissent:

We disagree with the trial court’s conclusion that the language of Section 912(c) is vague.

Rather, we conclude that, in order to ascertain the meaning of Section 912(c), we need not look beyond its plain language. The plain meaning of Section 912(c) provides two separate defenses: possessing and using a weapon on school property “in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity” as well as possessing “for other lawful purpose.” (emphasis added, as Chief Counsel Prince specifically argued this exact construction and noted the different verbs utilized related to the different provisions)

The Court concludes:

Although we are concerned about individuals possessing weapons on school property, we are bound by the broad defense that the legislature has provided defendants in such cases.

Josh Prince is raising money for legal defenses, as the case is headed back to lower court for a re-trial. I wouldn’t exactly go carrying firearms on school grounds because of this ruling, but it seems pretty clear the legislature intended to supply a broad defense for people engaged in legal activity. We now have the second-highest court in the Commonwealth recognizing that.

UPDATE: More discussion here. It looks like the DA is dropping the charges rather than going through with a re-trial. Josh Prince also points out that this only creates an affirmative defense. The DA can still charge you.

4 thoughts on “Important Ruling From PA Superior Court”

  1. WOW! A court does its job! Seems so rare that they do so when it comes to gun rights.

    I’ve already read the language as allowing carrying arms on school property, but of course I never wanted to be the test case. Good to hear that I was right. Of course, like Prince said, its an affirmative defense so its still a world of hurt if caught.

  2. This is why I prefer the way our law in WA is worded. Rather than listing the exceptions as an affirmative defense the law states:

    (3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

    and then lists the exceptions. Unfortunatly however “other lawful purposes” is not among them.

  3. “No weapons on school property” means no defensive carry. Mass murderers can still show up and commit mass murder, but with a ban in place it’s unlikely that anyone will be legally armed to stop them. That’s nuts, but it is exactly what the political left wants – dead kids because no one was allowed to defend them.

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