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PA SC Rules No to ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ for firearms
Posted By: Wreckless aka Dream Crusher
Date: 7/7/20 02:28
PA Supreme Court: Unconstitutional to ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ For Firearms
Ammoland Inc. Posted on May 31, 2019 by AmmoLand Editor Duncan Johnson
HARRISBURG, PA –-(Ammoland.com)- Today, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court issued a significant 53-page majority opinion in the criminal appeal of Commonwealth v. Hicks. Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) filed an important coalition amicus brief cited by the Court supporting Hicks in December of 2017, alongside Firearms Owners Against Crime (FOAC) and seven Members of Pensylvannia’s General Assembly. The Court’s decision, concurring opinions, and the FPC/FPF amicus brief can be viewed at www.firearmspolicy.org/legal.
At issue was whether someone’s carrying of a firearm could be used as reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct, and thus justification for police to conduct a “stop-and-frisk” of the gun owner. The court ruled in Hicks that such searches and seizures, in the absence of other evidence are completely unlawful.
The coalition’s brief, which was relied on heavily in the majority opinion, argued that the Pennsylvania and federal constitutions prohibit searches and seizures based on a suspicion of criminal activity due to carrying a firearm. According to the brief, “As protected by the Second and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution . . . the mere open or conceal carrying of a firearm cannot establish reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal conduct, in the absence of additional indications of unlawful activity.”
The Court agreed, noting “that the government may not target and seize specific individuals without any particular suspicion of wrongdoing, then force them to prove that they are not committing crimes.”
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