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View Full Version : Man who took gun to polling place on Election Day to have his day in court


Liberty1
12-14-2007, 12:38 AM
http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_7706118

...Rotz walked up to the New Franklin voting precinct on Nov. 6 wearing his gun (openly) in a side holster, according to Franklin County Sheriff Robert Wollyung. A constable cautioned him not to be armed around the polling place.

"He was cautioned it was best to leave (the gun) outside," Wollyung said. "Instead of taking the easy way out, he has to take the arrogant stand."

"My actions were within the law," Rotz said. "I carry my firearm every day. I believe first and foremost it's my responsibility to protect myself and my family."

Franklin County President Judge John R. Walker is scheduled to hear the case at 2 p.m. Jan. 8 in Courtroom One.

The case "may speak as to how broad the sheriff's discretion is," Rotz said. "I did not break a law. I have not been charged with any crime."

"I'm sure the court is going to agree with him," Sheriff Wollyung said. :eek:

Wollyung notified Rotz in a letter dated Nov. 7 that Rotz was required to surrender his license to carry a firearm, according to court documents...

ghettoshecky
12-14-2007, 1:57 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a law against having a gun in a polling place due to laws that prevented people from being intimidated against voting? Whether or not he presented a real threat he should have followed the law.

halifax
12-14-2007, 4:56 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a law against having a gun in a polling place due to laws that prevented people from being intimidated against voting? Whether or not he presented a real threat he should have followed the law.

If you are referring to black voters being intimidated in the reconstruction era south then the sheriff should have disarmed himself also. That would have made more sense. ;)

Liberty1
12-14-2007, 10:14 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a law against having a gun in a polling place .

Not in Pennsylvania. Open carry on foot is a court protected right.

Pennsylvania law allows a person to carry a handgun in the open, but once the person carrying the gun gets into a vehicle, the gun is considered a concealed weapon, Wollyung said. A permit is then required.

State law prohibits constables and other law enforcement officers from wearing weapons at polling places during an election.

and this seems to have been added since I read it last:

Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder of the online discussion forum OpenCarry.org, today called for a criminal probe into an "apparent conspiracy" between Wollyung and the constable to deny Rotz's "voting and gun rights."

Discussions on OpenCarry.org focus on the open carrying of guns. The forum's motto is "a right unexercised is a right lost." The 3-year-old group has more than 3,500 members, an estimated 200 from Pennsylvania.

Members donated money for Rotz's legal fees, according to Stollenwerk.

"Let's hope Sheriff Wollyung has plenty of gun lockers ready on Jan. 8 at the Chambersburg courthouse," Stollenwerk said. "Pennsylvania gun owners are very interested in Rotz's case and some may decide to drop by to sit in on Rotz's hearing."

elenius
12-14-2007, 10:18 AM
Wollyung notified Rotz in a letter dated Nov. 7 that Rotz was required to surrender his license to carry a firearm, according to court documents...


They have open carry licenses in Pennsylvania?

Liberty1
12-14-2007, 10:34 AM
It is a Right to open carry in Penn. No license is needed to open carry on foot any where in Pa. out side of Philadelphia. PA does have a shall issue "License to Carry" that is an exemption to the concealed carry laws and Philadelphia's carry ban.

http://opencarry.org/

Pennsylvania

Summary
Pennsylvania is a traditional open carry state. There are 2 issues that prevent it from being a "Gold Star" open carry state. First, you must have a permit to open carry in the city of Philadelphia and second, you must have a permit to open carry in a vehicle. However, PA recognizes the permits of all 50 states for open/concealed carry in vehicles.

bwiese
12-14-2007, 10:42 AM
I'm sure he's right in the pure & simple legal sense.

But it's a battle that shouldn't be fought (not the legal one, but the initial provoking conduct).

I just don't see how this helps overall to promote RKBA, and I think some politically astute folks should get aside these guys and tell 'em to STFU.

CCWs are readily issued there, so 'scaring the sheep' reeks more of provocation - and there is some fragility in the politics out there given Philly, John Street, Ed Rendell, etc. so why friggin' aggravate things when there's already shall-issue CCW? Looks like purity is getting in the way of practicality, and the 'perfect being the enemy of the good' again.

Geez, some of these folks must not be too bright. I don't think you'll ever see any NRA staff packing hoglegs openly, no matter what they have under their jackets.

bobfried
12-14-2007, 10:56 AM
Like Bill said, he has all the right in the world.

He's still a douche and I would slap him on the side of the head if given the chance.

CCWFacts
12-14-2007, 11:07 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a law against having a gun in a polling place due to laws that prevented people from being intimidated against voting? Whether or not he presented a real threat he should have followed the law.

That's the rationale behind it. I can see the basis for that. Imagine the following: it's 1900, in some town in the south. Some blacks are wanting to vote, perhaps for the first time, and the law is on the books that they have a right to vote. They show up at the polling place and there are a bunch of known KKK members there, armed. Would the blacks feel confident to go in there and exercise their right, or would there be some implicit intimidation that would stop them? To me, obviously, having a bunch of armed KKK members in a polling place will inhibit the exercise of the right to vote. So that's the logic behind this law.

Here in CA, polling places are one of the few places where CCW holders can't carry by statute. Schools, fine. State capitol, fine. But not polling places.

But it's a battle that shouldn't be fought (not the legal one, but the initial provoking conduct).

I just don't see how this helps overall to promote RKBA, and I think some politically astute folks should get aside these guys and tell 'em to STFU.

I agree 100%. Unfortunately guys like that don't listen to anybody who tries to inform them of ideas like that.

Liberty1
12-14-2007, 11:26 AM
Bill,

That depends on if you're interested is in mere privileges (subject to revocation by the whim of a 51% majority or a Sheriff's arbitrary action), which many Californians don't even have, or interested in protecting and exercising Rights. If it were not for the State Court protected Right to OC in many states I doubt some would have shall issue privileges (like Ohio).

The reason that we even talk about "sheeple" regarding defensive gun carry being "scared" is that we as a people stopped carrying openly and allowed the prohibitionists to shame us into the closets and sitting by while the right to carry openly was mitigated by loaded laws and school zones.

The second issue here is the arbitrary revocation of a property interest by a government official for no good cause. The Sheriff knows he was wrong and is thus quoted saying, "I'm sure the court is going to agree with him".

Bill, I recognize the gains that have been made in Ca. using your hide in the closet gun ownership tactics while looking for letter of the law legal activities (like OLLs or importing single shots etc...) to defeat the prohibitionists laws. But shall issue is secure in most of the nation IMO primarily because open carry is a Right on which to fall back. But it needs to be defended and exercised in order to keep it. Unlawful intimidation by law enforcement similarly needs to be strongly challenged to keep my brothers in blue or tan within the law.

We do a similar kind to activism here by owning OLLs and using them at ranges and matches. It would be easier to just own a M1A or Mini-14 and not draw the attention of DOJ or have to fight felonies out in the courts. But OLL is within the letter of the law. So that is how we push the envelope here. For that Pennsylvanian, open carry at the voting booth is not only letter of the law legal, but they are both strongly protected Rights in Penn. courts. I have no problem with strong individuals exercising their rights either here with OLL or there with OC. I'm surprised you have problems with that.

When "son of Heller" decisions recognize open carry as a fundamental US Constitutionally protected Right, we will see shall issue licensing finally in CA. I hope but doubt we'll see it here before then so those of us too embarrassed to peacefully carry openly can hide their privilege in their pockets.

Liberty1
12-14-2007, 11:39 AM
Imagine the following: it's 1900, in some town in the south. Some blacks are wanting to vote, perhaps for the first time, and the law is on the books that they have a right to vote. They show up at the polling place and there are a bunch of known KKK members there, armed. Would the blacks feel confident to go in there and exercise their right, or would there be some implicit intimidation that would stop them?

Oh, thats better. Create a victim disarmament zone! That will keep everyone safe. I think Penn. has it right. Citizens may carry openly (sans license) or concealed (with license) at polling places but government agents can't.

All I can say is God bless the "Deacons for Defense"! http://www.ileomode.org/enterprise/books/BlackPower/BPM_DeaconsforDefense_Lesson.pdf



...guys like that don't listen to anybody who tries to inform them of ideas like that.

Thank God! Its people who stand up for themselves that change things in this country. If we always operated so reservedly we'd have the Queen on our coins and be lamenting the loss of our "rabbit and duck" guns while looking at pictures of what we used to own. http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=78561

bwiese
12-14-2007, 12:47 PM
That depends on if you're interested is in mere privileges (subject to revocation by the whim of a 51% majority or a Sheriff's arbitrary action), which many Californians don't even have, or interested in protecting and exercising Rights. If it were not for the State Court protected Right to OC in many states I doubt some would have shall issue privileges (like Ohio).

Yep. So why put in-place CCW at risk?

The reason that we even talk about "sheeple" regarding defensive gun carry being "scared" is that we as a people stopped carrying openly and allowed the prohibitionists to shame us into the closets and sitting by while the right to carry openly was mitigated by loaded laws and school zones.


Perhaps. But that's over and done with. You can't put the genie back in the bottle.

And the subset of folks doing this are so small as to be 'outliers'.

When tons of people are CCWing and everyone's used to it, that's when things are flowing smoothly.



The second issue here is the arbitrary revocation of a property interest by a government official for no good cause. [B]The Sheriff knows he was wrong


Thus there are legal methods to deal with the improriety of the seizure, etc.



Bill, I recognize the gains that have been made in Ca. using your hide in the closet gun ownership tactics while looking for letter of the law legal activities (like OLLs or importing single shots etc...) to defeat the prohibitionists laws. But shall issue is secure in most of the nation IMO primarily because open carry is a Right on which to fall back.

B*llsh*t.
CCW succeeded because people had a need for protection. It got where it is today because butchers, bakers, doctors and lawyers didn't wanna strap on a sixgun, and also because the element of surprise helps.


Open carry is the letter of the law...I'm surprised you have problems with that.

Public conduct with a sixgun on the hip is a bit different than taking rifles with minor contour variations to a gun range. There's a whole public sensitization issue.

Admittedly, it might be one thing in an area with no CCW available but open-carry legal - that might help drive CCW reform in such areas.

But IMHO why screw with already-achieved goals. Yes, the individual should fight the seizure, etc- my question still is why he had to do it in first place, because there was nothing of import to prove, achieve or advance - or if there were, it was so little in comparison with putting other things at risk.

That's thinking that only purist de facto antigunners like Ron Paul could come up with.

383green
12-14-2007, 1:12 PM
Bwiese, you're one of my heros, but I agree with Liberty1 on this one. Why should sombody avoid exercising a right when they don't have anything to prove at the moment?

bwiese
12-14-2007, 1:20 PM
Bwiese, you're one of my heros, but I agree with Liberty1 on this one. Why should sombody avoid exercising a right when they don't have anything to prove at the moment?

Because of possible damage to existing law. It's a "let sleeping dogs lie" approach. Remember this is PA, and urban sh*tholes like Philly and Pittsburgh are growing in population.

Be nice not to have things screwed up until we get more court decisions thru, and that's 25 years down the line.

Why risk throwing away an advantage you have already?

Blacktail 8541
12-14-2007, 3:55 PM
Bill, an advantage like a right will eventually atrophy and die just like a muscle that is not used.

Scarecrow Repair
12-14-2007, 4:34 PM
All I can say is God bless the "Deacons for Defense"! http://www.ileomode.org/enterprise/books/BlackPower/BPM_DeaconsforDefense_Lesson.pdf


Yay!

Rob P.
12-14-2007, 8:06 PM
OK, Bill, You said:
:
Originally Posted by Liberty1 View Post
That depends on if you're interested is in mere privileges (subject to revocation by the whim of a 51% majority or a Sheriff's arbitrary action), which many Californians don't even have, or interested in protecting and exercising Rights. If it were not for the State Court protected Right to OC in many states I doubt some would have shall issue privileges (like Ohio).

Yep. So why put in-place CCW at risk?

Then you said:

Quote:
Bill, I recognize the gains that have been made in Ca. using your hide in the closet gun ownership tactics while looking for letter of the law legal activities (like OLLs or importing single shots etc...) to defeat the prohibitionists laws. But shall issue is secure in most of the nation IMO primarily because open carry is a Right on which to fall back.

B*llsh*t.
CCW succeeded because people had a need for protection. It got where it is today because butchers, bakers, doctors and lawyers didn't wanna strap on a sixgun, and also because the element of surprise helps.

Bill, I hate to tell you but you can't have it both ways. If CCW succeeded because influential people needed it, then those same people still need that protection and privilege.

CCW is in place because those with power don't want to be defenseless against the riff-raff common people. To make it look "fair" they offer the same privilege to others who can prove that they are above the ordinary rabble. These people will NEVER let CCW be abolished. Thus, there is no "risk" to in-place CCW when ordinary citizens exercise their rights to OPENLY carry firearms.

They may outlaw OPEN carry, but they will never outlaw CCW. Feinstein and her compatriots will not allow it. And, if Heller goes the way predicted, they will not be able to outlaw open carry. So, again, there is no "risk" to CCW.

artherd
12-15-2007, 4:13 AM
Granted, I wish open carry was more commonplace and people everywhere, including urban areas, would simply grow accustomed to it and go on about their lives.

I also wish americans would learn how the F to drive, and get out of the left lane!

I also wish repubs and dems would wake up and realize that both 'parties' are in cahoots in the backroom, and either and both are simply selling their constituents down the river.

But none of those 3 are going to happen. Instead, I would like to see nationwide shall-issue, and no controls beyond NICS on M-16s.

socalguns
12-15-2007, 6:52 AM
unless he's loitering, I don't see how he could be intimidating people

CitaDeL
12-15-2007, 10:28 AM
I'm sure he's right in the pure & simple legal sense.

But it's a battle that shouldn't be fought (not the legal one, but the initial provoking conduct).

I just don't see how this helps overall to promote RKBA, and I think some politically astute folks should get aside these guys and tell 'em to STFU.

CCWs are readily issued there, so 'scaring the sheep' reeks more of provocation - and there is some fragility in the politics out there given Philly, John Street, Ed Rendell, etc. so why friggin' aggravate things when there's already shall-issue CCW? Looks like purity is getting in the way of practicality, and the 'perfect being the enemy of the good' again.

Geez, some of these folks must not be too bright. I don't think you'll ever see any NRA staff packing hoglegs openly, no matter what they have under their jackets.

I guess people are having some difficulty reading or comprehending the article.

Here we have someone who is excersizing not only a inherent right, but a Constitutionally protected right and a court protected right...

And we have a tyrant with a badge yanking his license to carry for lawful behavior.

Get a clue- "ccw" and licenses to carry are another form of gun control, and in this case, the Sheriff overstepped his 'descretion' and violated the plantiff's 14th amendment rights just because they didnt like this person's lawful actions. Such a revocation demonstrates that issuing 'ccw' or licenses to carry is another way to enforce a issuing authorities personal bias under color of law.

And youre right about the NRA- they compromise the very principles for which they allegedly defend. By not being openly armed and supporting 'ccw' or licenses to carry, they are aiding the anti-gunners by giving them another tool by which the authorities can restrict the carry and possession of firearms.

If y'all think Rotz is a douche' bag, I have a pretty good idea of what you think of me.

I will be very interested in the outcome of this case. I certainly hope the Sheriff is right about the courts ruling in Rotz's favor- such a ruling would strengthen a gun owner's right to carry and protect their licenses from arbitrary revocation.

Piper
12-15-2007, 11:10 AM
The attitude of obeying unconstitutional laws by our parents, grandparents and us is why we are where we're at today. Nobody wants grief, discomfort or turmoil in their life but there comes a time when like it or not, it is unavoidable. We talk about victories and gaining ground and winning rights. The right to keep and bear arms is ours and has been for 231 years. This was paid for a long time ago with the blood of true patriots, and people who had the foresight to put it into the BoR spelled it out plainly with only 27 words that have been intentionally misinterpreted over the years to be a right of government instead of the right of free people. And to say that a person should avoid doing an activity that is legal is simply capitulating to a government that is doing its best to turn a Republic into a dictatorship.

I hate that we have to regain lost ground that should have never been lost in the first place, but it is what it is and the "public servants" that we gave power and authority to who don't know their place are simply not going to give our rights back without a fight. If it's legal in Pennsylvania for a person to carry at a polling place then that Sheriff stepped over the line and should be sanctioned for his misdeed.

CitaDeL
12-15-2007, 4:37 PM
The attitude of obeying unconstitutional laws by our parents, grandparents and us is why we are where we're at today. Nobody wants grief, discomfort or turmoil in their life but there comes a time when like it or not, it is unavoidable. We talk about victories and gaining ground and winning rights. The right to keep and bear arms is ours and has been for 231 years. This was paid for a long time ago with the blood of true patriots, and people who had the foresight to put it into the BoR spelled it out plainly with only 27 words that have been intentionally misinterpreted over the years to be a right of government instead of the right of free people. And to say that a person should avoid doing an activity that is legal is simply capitulating to a government that is doing its best to turn a Republic into a dictatorship.

I hate that we have to regain lost ground that should have never been lost in the first place, but it is what it is and the "public servants" that we gave power and authority to who don't know their place are simply not going to give our rights back without a fight. If it's legal in Pennsylvania for a person to carry at a polling place then that Sheriff stepped over the line and should be sanctioned for his misdeed.

The right to self-defense pre-dates the advent of the Constitution. And the Bill of Rights is actually 216 years old, having been ratified in 1791.

The idea that we 'have' rights or 'keep' rights simply because they 'are' is entirely false- I agree that Bill's "let sleeping dogs lie" approach is exactly the reason why lawful gun owners are overregulated and have submitted to the will of 'government' despite the fact 'government' has no right to regulate the people.

In order to preserve the right to keep and bear arms, or any other right for that matter, you must take action,... not sit on your hands, or beg the authorities forgiveness. You must resist tyranny even in its small, incremental forms, no matter how benign. If encroachment on our liberties is permitted- only more can be expected.

So when the NRA or our friend Bill says we should not resist 'infringement' because the anti-gunners are only asking for an inch, they are really saying that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms. First it is an inch, a foot, a yard, and then a mile- and whether an it is an inch of infringement or a mile- the injury to our rights is just the same.

Either you claim ownership of your rights and excersize them -or- you do not, and those who have usurped power claim them as 'priviledge' and mete them out to you at their descretion. There is no middle ground.

Piper
12-16-2007, 10:29 AM
The right to self-defense pre-dates the advent of the Constitution. And the Bill of Rights is actually 216 years old, having been ratified in 1791.

The idea that we 'have' rights or 'keep' rights simply because they 'are' is entirely false- I agree that Bill's "let sleeping dogs lie" approach is exactly the reason why lawful gun owners are overregulated and have submitted to the will of 'government' despite the fact 'government' has no right to regulate the people.

In order to preserve the right to keep and bear arms, or any other right for that matter, you must take action,... not sit on your hands, or beg the authorities forgiveness. You must resist tyranny even in its small, incremental forms, no matter how benign. If encroachment on our liberties is permitted- only more can be expected.

So when the NRA or our friend Bill says we should not resist 'infringement' because the anti-gunners are only asking for an inch, they are really saying that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms. First it is an inch, a foot, a yard, and then a mile- and whether an it is an inch of infringement or a mile- the injury to our rights is just the same.

Either you claim ownership of your rights and excersize them -or- you do not, and those who have usurped power claim them as 'priviledge' and mete them out to you at their descretion. There is no middle ground.

I don't want to get into a arguement with you but, you contradicted yourself. As for our rights simply existing, I believe that inalienable is exactly what that means. I could be wrong, that's my interpretation.

CitaDeL
12-16-2007, 11:10 AM
I don't want to get into a arguement with you but, you contradicted yourself. As for our rights simply existing, I believe that inalienable is exactly what that means. I could be wrong, that's my interpretation.

No,.. no arguement here. I can see how what I wrote could be interpreted as contradictory. However 'Unalienable rights' refers to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.." as referenced in the Declaration of Independence. In other words, we have a right to exist and to self-detemination. Self-defense does enter the scope of these rights, but is not Constitutitionally cannonized as the right to keep and bear arms is.

Here is why.

Our right to self-defense is inherent or 'unalienable' because it cannot be seperated from your being, your body, or soul. Firearms on the other hand, are not part of our body and can be removed from us as a possession... this, like the first amendment must be excersized regularly so that those who would silence a free people are the trespasser, not those who would speak out. Those who would disarm a free people are the aggressor, not those who would arm themselves for personal or common defense.

The false government has long used our silence as our ascent, and those governed complacently submit to the minority in this despicable democracy because they will not vocalize their opposition despite greater numbers and being girded by the principles and doctrine laid down by our forefathers. People unfortunately, are more inclined to follow than lead- it is far more work to excersize your self-determination being audacious in your actions, than it is to nurture hope or wish a thing from the safety and comfort of your armchair.

So, I applaud Mr. Rotz. He is not imprisoned by a belief that government allows him self-determination, that government is the supreme provider of his safety and security, or that government has any place telling him what he can or cannot do beyond codified law.