In Pennsylvania, like most of the country, people with records clear of criminal convictions who are 21 years or older can apply for a License to Carry a Firearm (“LTCF”), which permits carrying a concealed weapon on his or her person or in a vehicle. While this right may seem universal, like any bureaucratic process, things can fall through the cracks and sometimes law-abiding citizens are denied the ability to exercise their constitutional rights.

If you find yourself unfairly denied a concealed carry permit, you have options available, but to effectively remedy the situation you will need tenacious legal representation who knows how to navigate the complex appeal process. To discuss how Philadelphia firearms attorney Michael Fienman can protect your rights and help correct an unfair denial of your LTCF, call (215) 839-9529 for a free consultation.

An Arrest is Not a Conviction

In a prime example of administrative errors hindering a person’s gun rights, a man recently came to Fienman Defense after he ran into problems trying to maneuver this process on his own. Apparently, the man who performs contracting services in some unsafe areas of Philadelphia had previously been licensed to carry and tried to renew his permit; however, his request was surprisingly denied based on having a criminal record.

The reasoning in his denial indicated that if he was granted a license he would be considered a danger to the community, but the man knew that he had never been convicted of a crime and followed the instructions in Philadelphia for filing an appeal before the Licenses & Inspections (L&I) Board. The L&I Board is the body that is responsible for hearing such appeals in Philadelphia.

It is important to note that you have 30 days to appeal a denial or revocation of an LTCF.

Believing that this oversight would be something easily addressed and corrected, when he appeared to defend his right to have a concealed carry permit, he did so without an attorney. Additionally, and to add an element of absurdity to the man’s situation, rather than having legal authorities or industry experts, the panel overseeing gun licensing appeals is the same group that addresses signage and zoning violations for businesses throughout Philadelphia.

During the proceedings, it became clear that his license was denied based on an assault charge that happened some time ago and while he actually held a valid license to carry a concealed weapon. Evidently, the man was involved in an altercation at a convenient store that was ultimately dismissed and while an arrest appeared on his background check, he was not convicted of a crime. Upon hearing the reason for his denial, the man became incensed and stated that this prior charge should not be considered since the case was dismissed because it had no merit.

Sadly, due to the man’s volatility during the hearing and his inability to explain his case, he was once again denied a permit.

The Right Attorney Can Make All the Difference

The man was obviously confused by this result and unsure of what to do next, which led him to finally contacting an experienced lawyer. After discussing his situation with skilled Philadelphia firearm attorney Michael Fienman, he now appreciated the need for capable legal counsel. While the entire Pennsylvania firearm permit appeal process may seem ill-conceived and difficult to understand, attorney Fienman explained that with the right attorney to articulate your case and a little patience, you stand a much better chance of obtaining a positive outcome.

It was evident to attorney Fienman that his client was correct in his assertion that his prior charge should not be used against him to deny his gun rights, and the city was essentially treating an arrest with the same credence as a conviction. Despite attorney’s Fienman’s confidence that the city was violating his 2nd amendment rights and acting improperly, the man’s case was in a difficult situation that would need to be overcome before any forward progress could be made.

To clarify, although the man could also appeal the L&I Board’s decision, the scope of that proceeding can only address what was brought up during the original appeal. Since the man initially appeared without an attorney, there was not a lot of material evidence on the record and it left the man’s case in a tough spot.

Fortunately, this client made the wise decision to retain an experienced lawyer like Michael Fienman, who not only spent his career protecting people’s rights, but also worked to cultivate valuable relationships with administrators throughout the justice system. By utilizing this network and an aggressive approach to negotiations, attorney Fienamn successfully obtained a De Novo hearing, which is an entirely new appeal to the man’s permit denial.

This De Novo hearing essentially provided his client the opportunity to finally put forward an articulate argument, and while attorney Fienman was confident he could show the L&I Board that arrests without convictions should not be considered when issuing gun permits, he wanted to go the extra mile for this client. Since it would take some time for the new hearing to be scheduled, attorney Fienman took this opportunity to petition the court to have the man’s record officially expunged. By doing so, when the hearing date arrived, he presented a client with a completely unblemished record and convinced the committee to definitively issue his client a valid license to carry a firearm.

Protect Your Rights and Fight Back with Fienman Defense

With miles of red tape and a lot of convoluted ways to get things accomplished, it may be a reality of living in Pennsylvania, but in some circumstances who you know can be just as important as what you know. Whether you are dealing with an unfair denial or revocation of a firearm permit, attorney Michael Fienman has the experience to successfully fight back against erroneous denial and use his extensive network of relationships to cut through what can otherwise be a bureaucratic nightmare.

If you were denied a LTCF in Pennsylvania and want to appeal the decision, it is best to be prepared and represented by skilled legal counsel from the very beginning. Call Fienman Defense at (215) 839-9529 today for a free consultation to discuss your 2nd amendment rights and options.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

View All Blogs