Pennsylvania State Police Sued Over Substantial Delays for Firearm BackGround Check Determinations And Disenfranchisement of Second Amendment Rights

By: Joshua Prince, Esq.


On Friday, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and attorney Dillon Harris of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG) filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Commissioner Robert Evanchick on behalf of Firearms Owners Against Crime – Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Educational Action (FOAC-ILLEA) and several Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) and individuals in Pennsylvania, in relation to the PSP’s substantial delays in performing firearm purchase/transfer background checks, as well as, those associated with licenses to carry firearms.

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As averred in the lawsuit, Commissioner Evanchick has instituted a practice, in direct defiance of the General Assembly’s mandate, that purposely understaffs the PSP’s Instant Check Unit by only employing two individuals as operators for conducting almost 1.5 million background checks per year, resulting in delays, as admitted by the PSP on its own website, that typically exceed 7 hours, and in some occasions, exceed 34 hours, even though the statutes require the background check system to be “instantaneous.” As a result of Commissioner Evanchick’s practice, numerous individuals have been disenfranchised of their statutory and constitutional rights under the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions. In fact, one of plaintiffs, who holds an FFL, was delayed in excess of 22 hours by the PSP, even though, there can be no dispute that he is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, and utilizing firearms, because if he were, he would be ineligible for an FFL.

The lawsuit seeks declaratory relief that Commissioner Evanchick’s practice is unlawful and additionally seeks an injunction requiring the PSP to comply with the General Assembly’s mandate that the background check system be instantaneous. You can find FOAC-ILLEA’s press release here.

Firearms Industry Consulting Group(R) (FICG(R)) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.