BELLEVUE, WA – Attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in a challenge to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s effort to conduct warrantless searches and seizures from licensed firearms retailers in the county have filed a brief in response to objections by the defendants, in support of an application for summary relief.
SAF is joined in the action by Shot Tec, LLC and Grant Schmidt. They are represented by attorneys Joshua Prince and Dillon Harris, Civil Rights Defense Firm in Bechtelsville, Pa. They filed the lawsuit in June. Defendants are Col. Christopher Paris, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, and Montgomery County Sheriff Sean Kilkenny.
One week after the lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, parties agreed to an enforcement stay while the case is being adjudicated.
As noted in the 48-page brief, “Respondents Paris and Kilkenny both admit that they are enforcing the respective laws, regulations, and policy. Thus, there simply cannot be any argument that this matter is not ripe.”
At issue is a regulation promulgated by the Pennsylvania State Police requiring an applicant for a Pennsylvania license to sell firearms to agree to warrantless searches by the State Police or their designee—in this case the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office—“to ensure compliance” with state law.
The situation, according to SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut—himself a practicing attorney in Pennsylvania—raises grave constitutional issues.
“Unlike other areas of Pennsylvania law, where the legislature did craft language to allow for warrantless searches, the requirement to allow such is not found anywhere in the laws regulating firearms sales and was wholly created by an administrative agency,” Kraut observed. “While a legislative waiver of constitutional rights does raise concerns, one envisioned and implemented by an executive agency simply cannot be a lawful delegation of authority nor pass constitutional muster.”
“We’ve taken this action to assure constitutional rights are protected from legal oversteps by law enforcement,” added SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.