The attorney behind a landmark Second Amendment case in Pennsylvania is seeking litigants for a potential lawsuit against Sheriff George David.
Attorney Joshua Prince, Chief Legal Counsel of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group, has announced he is exploring a class action lawsuit against David.
“The goal of any action would be to enjoin Sheriff David from continuing his alleged practice of denying individuals’ due process, by failing to state the factual basis for the denial or revocation [of concealed carry licenses], as well as his apparent failure to comply with local agency law,” Prince told the Beaver Countian. Prince said he would also seek monetary damages for those who have had their due process rights violated by Sheriff David.
Prince has filed other class action lawsuits on behalf of gun owners throughout the state, including a pending case in Philadelphia.
As reported earlier this week, an investigation by the Beaver Countian uncovered over 300 instances in the past two years where individuals who appear to qualify for gun permits under state law, were then denied the right to carry a concealed firearm because of additional policies created by Sheriff David.
Sheriff David points to a discretionary provision of the statute to justify his policies, which gives him the authority to deny permits to persons “of character and reputation” that make them “likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.”
“The precedent that I established in Caba v. Weaknecht requires that a Sheriff specify the actual factual basis for denying an individual pursuant to character and reputation,” said Prince, “without the factual basis, the denial or revocation notice denies the individual due process because he or she must appeal that decision, generally speaking, to the Court of Common Pleas in order to determine the actual factual basis.”
As part of its investigation, the Beaver Countian spoke to several individuals who were denied concealed carry permits because they entered into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for a single DUI charge, and others who were denied because they were convicted of a minor ungraded misdemeanor years ago. These individuals would have been granted gun permits under previous Sheriffs in Beaver County, who denied individuals the right to a concealed carry license only if they were shown to have committed a disqualifying offense by the PICS background check.
Along with civil liabilities, Joshua Prince said Sheriff David’s blanket denials may also constitute criminal violations of law, such as official oppression. Prince said he would review the actual denials and speak with aggrieved individuals to determine if violations of the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act have occurred.
Attorney Prince is asking any individual in Beaver County who “was denied a license to carry firearms or had their license to carry firearms revoked on the basis of character and reputation on or after September 12, 2012, where Sheriff David failed to provide the factual basis for the denial or revocation,” to contact his office at 1-888-313-0416 or visit his website at www.FirearmsIndustryConsultingGroup.com.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter is a named victim in criminal charges filed against Sheriff George David by the Pennsylvania State Police.